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a. The act of irritating: the prankster's irritation of the others in the dorm.
b. The condition of being irritated; vexation: honked the horn with irritation at the delay.
2. A source of irritation: Their constant talking is an irritation to people who are reading.
3. An inflammatory reaction of a bodily part.
4. Physiology The elicitation of a response to a stimulus in a plant or animal organ or tissue, especially in a nerve or muscle.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. something that irritates
2. the act of irritating or the condition of being irritated
ˈirriˌtative adj
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˌɪr ɪˈteɪ ʃən)

1. the act of irritating or the state of being irritated.
2. something that irritates.
3. Physiol., Pathol.
a. the bringing of a bodily part or organ to an abnormally excited or sensitive condition.
b. the condition itself.
[1580–90; < Latin]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.



(See also VEXATION.)

flea in the ear Discontent or uneasiness caused by a broad hint or warning, especially one which arouses suspicion; restlessness caused by an unexpected or undesired reply, usually one which is a vicious or humiliating rebuff or reproach. Cited for centuries in literature from throughout the world, this expression refers to the restless and distressed behavior characteristic of a dog afflicted with a flea in its ear.

He went away with a flea in his ear,
Like a poor cur.
(Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher, Love’s Cure, 1625)

gadfly A pest, nuisance, or bother; one who irritates, annoys, or tries to involve others in one’s cockeyed schemes. Literally, a gadfly is an insect which bites and goads other animals, especially cattle. Figurative use of the term dates from the mid-17th century. Currently, corporate gadfly is frequently heard to describe one who disrupts corporate or stockholder meetings with unconventional questions and challenges. To have a gadfly, dating from the late 16th century, means ‘to gad about,’ or ‘to rove idly.’ Gadfly can also be used adjectivally, as in the British gadfly mind, denoting an inability to concentrate.

get in [someone’s] hair To pester, annoy, irritate; to nag, henpeck; to be a nuisance. The persistent irritation of the scalp caused by hair lice is the probable source of this common expression.

She got in my hair until I couldn’t bear it another day. (J. Tey, Shilling for Candles, 1936)

get under [someone’s] skin To irritate or annoy; to impress or affect deeply. This expression alludes to mites, ticks, and other small, parasitic arachnids and insects which embed themselves in the skin of a victim, causing itching, irritation, and inflammation. In contemporary usage, the phrase frequently implies deep affection or love, emotions exemplified in tine classic Cole Porter song, “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” (1936).

pea in the shoe Any petty irritation or annoyance; a source of minor discomfort or distress; a thorn in the side. A literal pea in one’s shoe is too small to seriously affect one’s walking ability, but nevertheless large enough to be a source of considerable discomfort.

a thorn in the flesh A source of constant irritation, affliction, or inconvenience; a perpetual pain-in-the-neck. A sect of Pharisees used to place thorns in the hem of their cloaks to prick their legs in walking, and make them bleed. The expression no longer refers to self-imposed suffering, however, but to objectionable external conditions or parasitical acquaintances. St. Paul used thorn in the flesh in 2 Corinthians 12:7:

And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.

A common variant is thorn in the side.

The Eastern Church was then, as she is to this day, a thorn in the side of the Papacy. (James Bryce, The Holy Roman Empire, 1864)

Picturesque Expressions: A Thematic Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1980 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.irritation - the psychological state of being irritated or annoyedirritation - the psychological state of being irritated or annoyed
mental condition, mental state, psychological condition, psychological state - (psychology) a mental condition in which the qualities of a state are relatively constant even though the state itself may be dynamic; "a manic state"
bummer - an experience that is irritating or frustrating or disappointing; "having to stand in line so long was a real bummer"
huff, miff, seeing red - a state of irritation or annoyance
pinprick - a minor annoyance
impatience, restlessness - a lack of patience; irritation with anything that causes delay
snit - a state of agitated irritation; "he was in a snit"
2.irritation - a sudden outburst of angerirritation - a sudden outburst of anger; "his temper sparked like damp firewood"
vexation, annoyance, chafe - anger produced by some annoying irritation
3.irritation - (pathology) abnormal sensitivity to stimulation; "any food produced irritation of the stomach"
pathology - the branch of medical science that studies the causes and nature and effects of diseases
abnormalcy, abnormality - an abnormal physical condition resulting from defective genes or developmental deficiencies
sensitisation, sensitization - the state of being sensitive (as to an antigen)
4.irritation - the neural or electrical arousal of an organ or muscle or gland
arousal - a state of heightened physiological activity
5.irritation - an uncomfortable feeling of mental painfulness or distress
hurt, suffering - feelings of mental or physical pain
6.irritation - unfriendly behavior that causes anger or resentmentirritation - unfriendly behavior that causes anger or resentment
aggro - (informal British usage) aggravation or aggression; "I skipped it because it was too much aggro"
aggression - deliberately unfriendly behavior
last straw - the final irritation that stretches your patience beyond the limit
taunt, taunting, twit - aggravation by deriding or mocking or criticizing
7.irritation - the act of troubling or annoying someoneirritation - the act of troubling or annoying someone
mistreatment - the practice of treating (someone or something) badly; "he should be punished for his mistreatment of his mother"
exasperation - actions that cause great irritation (or even anger)
red flag - something that irritates or demands immediate action; "doing that is like waving a red flag in front of a bull"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


2. nuisance, annoyance, irritant, pain (informal), drag (informal), bother, plague, menace, tease, pest, hassle, provocation, gall, goad, aggravation (informal), pain in the neck (informal), pain in the arse (taboo informal), thorn in your flesh Don't allow a minor irritation to mar your ambitions.
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


2. The feeling of being annoyed:
4. An instance of being irritated, as in a part of the body:
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
غَضَب، غَيْظ
pirringur, gremja
kız masinirlen me


[ˌɪrɪˈteɪʃən] N
1. (= state) → irritación f, enfado m
she could not conceal her irritationno podía disimular su irritación or enfado
2. (= irritant) → molestia f
3. (Med) → irritación f
a minor skin irritationuna irritación cutánea de poca importancia
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


[ˌɪrɪˈteɪʃən] n
(= annoyance) [person] → irritation f, agacement m
(= source of annoyance) → agacement m
(to eyes, skin)irritation f
These oils may cause irritation to sensitive skins → Ces huiles peuvent provoquer des irritations chez les personnes à la peau sensible.
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


(= state)Ärger m, → Verärgerung f; (= act)Ärgern nt; (deliberate) → Reizen nt; (= thing that irritates)Ärgernis nt, → Unannehmlichkeit f; the noise is a source of irritationder Lärm irritiert einen; to avoid the irritation of a long delayum eine ärgerliche or lästige Verzögerung zu vermeiden
(Med) → Reizung f
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[ˌɪrɪˈteɪʃn] n (gen) (Med) → irritazione f (fig) (irritating thing) → seccatura
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(ˈiriteit) verb
1. to annoy or make angry. The children's chatter irritated him.
2. to make (a part of the body) sore, red, itchy etc. Soap can irritate a baby's skin.
ˈirritable adjective
easily annoyed. He was in an irritable mood.
ˈirritably adverb
ˌirritaˈbility noun
ˈirritableness noun
ˈirritating adjective
She has an irritating voice.
ˌirriˈtation noun
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.


n. irritación, reacción extrema a un dolor o a una condición patológica.
English-Spanish Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012


n irritación f
English-Spanish/Spanish-English Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
The exercise indeed served to clear away the superficial irritations of the morning, but he remained miserable.
It is myself, forsooth, O Zarathustra, myself, thy shadow!" But Zarathustra did not wait; for a sudden irritation came over him on account of the crowd and the crowding in his mountains.
He tried to recall the actual words of his little outburst, and unconsciously supplemented them by so many words of greater expressiveness that the irritation of his failure was somewhat assuaged.
I wished to observe the different forms taken by the irritation that I should naturally produce; for it is under the influence of irritation that the French character most completely expresses itself.
Dorothea, who was shrewd and sprightly, and by this time thoroughly understood Don Quixote's crazy turn, and that all except Sancho Panza were making game of him, not to be behind the rest said to him, on observing his irritation, "Sir Knight, remember the boon you have promised me, and that in accordance with it you must not engage in any other adventure, be it ever so pressing; calm yourself, for if the licentiate had known that the galley slaves had been set free by that unconquered arm he would have stopped his mouth thrice over, or even bitten his tongue three times before he would have said a word that tended towards disrespect of your worship."
Hatred, by a gradual and quiet process, will even be transformed to love, unless the change be impeded by a continually new irritation of the original feeling of hostility.
Its effect when he went to his own rooms was to make him sit up half the night, thinking over again, under a new irritation, all that he had before thought of his having settled in Middlemarch and harnessed himself with Mr.
She heard him moving about the room; every sound indicating impatience and irritation. Another time she would have gone in at his request.
He was in such a state of irritation that he could not bear the sound of Mr.
The general, unable to control his irritation, will launch his men to the assault like swarming ants, with the result that one-third of his men are slain, while the town still remains untaken.
"But I've said so already, so why repeat it?" Anna suddenly interrupted him with an irritation she could not succeed in repressing.
Hence Cecil's irritation and Lucy's belief that his irritation was just.