From Middle English anoyen, a borrowing from Anglo-Norman anuier, Old French enuier (“to molest, harm, tire”), from Late Latin inodiō (“cause aversion, make hateful”, verb), from the phrase in odiō (“hated”), from Latin odium (“hatred”). Displaced native Old English dreċċan and gremman.
- (transitive) To disturb or irritate, especially by continued or repeated acts; to bother with unpleasant deeds.
- 2013 May 25, “No hiding place”, in The Economist, volume 407, number 8837, page 74:
- In America alone, people spent $170 billion on “direct marketing”—junk mail of both the physical and electronic varieties—last year. Yet of those who received unsolicited adverts through the post, only 3% bought anything as a result. If the bumf arrived electronically, the take-up rate was 0.1%. And for online adverts the “conversion” into sales was a minuscule 0.01%. That means about $165 billion was spent not on drumming up business, but on annoying people, creating landfill and cluttering spam filters.
- Marc loved his sister, but when she annoyed him he wanted to switch her off.
- (intransitive) To do something to upset or anger someone; to be troublesome.
- 1993, D.C. Fontana, Peter Allan Fields, “Dax”, in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, season 1, episode 8, spoken by Kira Nerys (Nana Visitor):
- You Klaestrons are allies of the Cardassians; your knowledge of the station confirms that they must have given you the layouts. Which not only compromises Bajoran security, but also... annoys us.
- (transitive) To molest; to harm; to injure.
- to annoy an army by impeding its march, or by a cannonade
- 1644 December 3 (Gregorian calendar), John Evelyn, “[Diary entry for 23 November 1644]”, in William Bray, editor, Memoirs, Illustrative of the Life and Writings of John Evelyn, […], 2nd edition, volume I, London: Henry Colburn, […]; and sold by John and Arthur Arch, […], published 1819, →OCLC:
- tapers put into lanterns or sconces of several-coloured, oiled paper, that the wind might not annoy them
- 1691, Matthew Prior, Pastoral to Dr. Turner, Bishop of Ely:
- Say, what can more our tortured souls annoy / Than to behold, admire, and lose our joy?
annoy (plural annoys)
- (literary, archaic) A feeling of discomfort or vexation caused by what one dislikes.
- 1606 (date written), [Francis Beaumont; John Fletcher], The Woman Hater. […], London: […] [Robert Raworth], and are to be sold by John Hodgets […], published 1607, →OCLC, Act III, scene i:
- VVe that ſuffer long anoy / Are contented vvith a thought / Through an idle fancie vvrought / O let my ioyes have ſome abiding.
- (literary, archaic) That which causes such a feeling.
- c. 1593 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedy of Richard the Third: […]”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act IV, scene ii]:
- Sleepe in Peace, and wake in Ioy, / Good Angels guard thee from the Boares annoy […]
- (both senses) annoyance
- “annoy”, in The Century Dictionary […], New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911, →OCLC.
- “annoy”, in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, Springfield, Mass.: G. & C. Merriam, 1913, →OCLC.
- Alternative form of
- [c. 1360s (date written), Geffray Chaucer [i.e., Geoffrey Chaucer], “The Romaunt of the Rose”, in [William Thynne], editor, The Workes of Geffray Chaucer Newlye Printed, […], [London: […] Richard Grafton for] Iohn Reynes […], published 1542, →OCLC:
- I merveyle me wonder faste / How ony man may lyve or laste / In such peyne and such brennyng, / […] In such annoy contynuely.
- (please add an English translation of this quotation)]