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Borrowed from Middle French irritation, from Latin irrītātiō, from irrītāre, present active infinitive of irrītō (I excite)


  • IPA(key): /ˌɪɹɪˈteɪʃən/
  • Rhymes: -eɪʃən
  • (file)


irritation (countable and uncountable, plural irritations)

  1. The act of irritating or annoying
    What irritation causes you to be so moody?
  2. The state of being irritated
    • 2012 March-April, Anna Lena Phillips, “Sneaky Silk Moths”, in American Scientist[1], volume 100, number 2, page 172:
      Last spring, the periodical cicadas emerged across eastern North America. Their vast numbers and short above-ground life spans inspired awe and irritation in humans—and made for good meals for birds and small mammals.
  3. The act of exciting, or the condition of being excited to action, by stimulation; -- as, the condition of an organ of sense, when its nerve is affected by some external body; especially, the act of exciting muscle fibers to contraction, by artificial stimulation; as, the irritation of a motor nerve by electricity; also, the condition of a muscle and nerve, under such stimulation.
  4. A condition of morbid excitability or oversensitiveness of an organ or part of the body; a state in which the application of ordinary stimuli produces pain or excessive or vitiated action.

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Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for irritation in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)




irritation f (plural irritations)

  1. Irritation (all senses).

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