verb (used with object), irritated, irritating.
to excite to impatience or anger; annoy.
Physiology, Biology. to excite (a living system) to some characteristic action or function.
Pathology. to bring (a body part) to an abnormally excited or sensitive condition.
verb (used without object), irritated, irritating.
to cause irritation or become irritated.

1525–35; < Latin irrītātus, past participle of irrītāre to arouse to anger, excite, aggravate, equivalent to irritā- v. stem + -tus past participle suffix

irritator, noun

aggravate, annoy, intensify, irritate, worsen (see synonym study at aggravate).

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. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To irritate
World English Dictionary
irritate (ˈɪrɪˌteɪt)
1.  to annoy or anger (someone)
2.  (tr) biology to stimulate (an organism or part) to respond in a characteristic manner
3.  (tr) pathol to cause (a bodily organ or part) to become excessively stimulated, resulting in inflammation, tenderness, etc
[C16: from Latin irrītāre to provoke, exasperate]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1530s, from L. irritatus, from pp. stem of irritare "excite, provoke." An earlier verb form was irrite (mid-15c.), from O.Fr. irriter.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
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.
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