If something's irritating, it annoys you. To most people, tuneless whistling and fingernails on a chalkboard are both irritating sounds.

Irritating things bug you. A little kid kicking the back of your seat on an airplane, a driver who follows you too closely on the highway, an early morning work crew right outside your bedroom window — all of these things can be irritating. A more physical way for something to be irritating is if it causes irritation — like a rash or soreness or pain. Your new watch may be irritating to your skin, leaving a red mark on your wrist.

Definitions of irritating
  1. adjective
    causing irritation or annoyance
    “an irritating delay”
    synonyms: annoying, bothersome, galling, grating, nettlesome, pesky, pestering, pestiferous, plaguey, plaguy, teasing, vexatious, vexing
    not to your liking
  2. adjective
    (used of physical stimuli) serving to stimulate or excite
    synonyms: irritative
    capable of arousing or accelerating physiological or psychological activity or response by a chemical agent
  3. adjective
    causing physical discomfort
    “bites of black flies are more than irritating
    synonyms: painful
    providing or experiencing physical discomfort
Word Family
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