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irritate

[ir-i-teyt] /ˈɪr ɪˌteɪt/
verb (used with object), irritated, irritating.
1.
to excite to impatience or anger; annoy.
2.
Physiology, Biology. to excite (a living system) to some characteristic action or function.
3.
Pathology. to bring (a body part) to an abnormally excited or sensitive condition.
verb (used without object), irritated, irritating.
4.
to cause irritation or become irritated.
Origin
1525-1535
1525-35; < Latin irrītātus, past participle of irrītāre to arouse to anger, excite, aggravate, equivalent to irritā- v. stem + -tus past participle suffix
Related forms
irritator, noun
Can be confused
aggravate, annoy, intensify, irritate, worsen (see synonym study at aggravate)
Synonyms
1. vex, chafe, fret, gall; nettle, ruffle, pique; incense, enrage, infuriate, inflame. Irritate, exasperate, provoke mean to annoy or stir to anger. To irritate is to excite to impatience or angry feeling, often of no great depth or duration: to irritate by refusing to explain an action. To exasperate is to irritate to a point where self-control is threatened or lost: to exasperate by continual delays and excuses. To provoke is to stir to a sudden, strong feeling of resentful anger as by unwarrantable acts or wanton annoyance: to tease and provoke an animal until it attacks.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for irritate
  • But children often resist the patch, which can irritate the skin and elicit teasing from their peers.
  • Handle pods carefully, since they contain short, stiff fibers that can irritate skin and eyes add to my plant list.
  • Aspirin may irritate the stomach and alcohol can amplify the toxic effects of acetaminophen on the liver.
  • Nor does it irritate the user with an incessant buzzing.
  • The odorless chemical can also severely irritate the eyes or skin if it comes in contact with either.
  • It all looks good until you see it up close and notice the small flaws that will irritate you over time.
  • Heavy smoking can irritate the tongue and make it painful.
  • Basic point is if you irritate the party, anything can happen to you.
  • If your opponent is temperamental, seek to irritate him.
  • He radiated a fastidious sleekness that can only irritate.
British Dictionary definitions for irritate

irritate

/ˈɪrɪˌteɪt/
verb
1.
to annoy or anger (someone)
2.
(transitive) (biology) to stimulate (an organism or part) to respond in a characteristic manner
3.
(transitive) (pathol) to cause (a bodily organ or part) to become excessively stimulated, resulting in inflammation, tenderness, etc
Derived Forms
irritator, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin irrītāre to provoke, exasperate
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
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Word Origin and History for irritate
v.

1530s, "stimulate to action, rouse, incite," from Latin irritatus, past participle of irritare "excite, provoke." An earlier verb form was irrite (mid-15c.), from Old French irriter. Meaning "annoy, make impatient" is from 1590s. Related: Irritated; irritating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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