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[ir-i-tey-tid] /ˈɪr ɪˌteɪ tɪd/
angered, provoked, or annoyed.
inflamed or made raw, as a part of the body.
Origin of irritated
1585-95; irritate + -ed2
Related forms
irritatedly, adverb
unirritated, adjective


[ir-i-teyt] /ˈɪr ɪˌteɪt/
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
Related forms
irritator, noun
Can be confused
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. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for irritated
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Yet his nonchalance, his serenity—something about him—irritated her.

    The Trail to Yesterday Charles Alden Seltzer
  • "You must have something to do," cried Cheppi, in an irritated tone.

    Rico and Wiseli Johanna Spyri
  • Again the inspector looked at me with that compassionate expression that irritated me beyond words.

    A Chain of Evidence Carolyn Wells
  • She irritated him more and more, not by what she did but by what she was.

    Dust Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius
  • This was one of Helen's habits that irritated the nerves of Lady Lansmere.

    My Novel, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
British Dictionary definitions for irritated


to annoy or anger (someone)
(transitive) (biology) to stimulate (an organism or part) to respond in a characteristic manner
(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 irritated



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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