Why was clemency trending last week?


[ir-i-tnt] /ˈɪr ɪ tnt/
tending to cause irritation; irritating.
anything that irritates.
Physiology, Pathology. a biological, chemical, or physical agent that stimulates a characteristic function or elicits a response, especially an inflammatory response.
Origin of irritant
1630-40; < Latin irrītant- (stem of irrītāns), present participle of irrītāre to irritate; see -ant
Related forms
irritancy, noun
nonirritancy, noun
nonirritant, adjective
unirritant, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for irritant
  • It contains crystals of calcium oxalate, an irritant deactivated by heat.
  • Regarded as a counter-irritant to slang, archaism is a failure.
  • The researchers then swabbed the ears of the mice with another known irritant-to simulate tissue damage from surgery.
  • Despite his full cooperation, he was sprayed in the face with chemical irritant, and put into restraints.
  • Skin irritant, will make it feel as though water is scalding.
  • Nitrogen oxides also contribute to the formation of ozone, a known irritant to the respiratory system.
  • Seems to me to be the result of an irritant on the skin.
  • For me the enigma remains, leaving me as an irritant to those who have attained certainty.
  • Some governments deem drug-counterfeiting a trivial offence, little more than a common irritant.
  • Public opinion is untroubled, or sees them as a mere irritant: an obscure, geeky sort of prankster.
British Dictionary definitions for irritant


causing irritation; irritating
something irritant
Derived Forms
irritancy, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for irritant

1630s, from Latin irritantem (nominative irritans), present participle of irritare (see irritate). As a noun, from 1802.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
irritant in Medicine

irritant ir·ri·tant (ĭr'ĭ-tənt)
Causing irritation, especially physical irritation. n.
A source of irritation.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for irritant

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for irritant

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with irritant

Nearby words for irritant