irritation

An irritation is a situation or action that annoys someone — emotionally or physically. Your off-key singing in the car might be an irritation to the driver, or that poison ivy could be an irritation as well.

It's an irritation when you're bothering someone else, and it's also irritation when you're the one feeling irked: "My irritation increased the longer the train sat there, unmoving, with no explanation." The earliest meaning of this word was more physical, a "sore or swollen spot," from the Latin root word irritare, "excite or provoke."

Definitions of irritation
  1. noun
    the act of troubling or annoying someone
    synonyms: annoyance, annoying, vexation
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    types:
    exasperation
    actions that cause great irritation (or even anger)
    red flag
    something that irritates or demands immediate action
    exacerbation
    violent and bitter exasperation
    type of:
    mistreatment
    the practice of treating (someone or something) badly
  2. noun
    the psychological state of being irritated or annoyed
    synonyms: annoyance, botheration, vexation
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    types:
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    bummer
    an experience that is irritating or frustrating or disappointing
    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
    type of:
    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
  3. noun
    an uncomfortable feeling of mental painfulness or distress
    synonyms: discomfort, soreness
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    type of:
    hurt, suffering
    feelings of mental or physical pain
  4. noun
    unfriendly behavior that causes anger or resentment
    synonyms: aggravation, provocation
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    types:
    aggro
    (informal British usage) aggravation or aggression
    last straw
    the final irritation that stretches your patience beyond the limit
    taunt, taunting, twit
    aggravation by deriding or mocking or criticizing
    type of:
    aggression
    deliberately unfriendly behavior
  5. noun
    a sudden outburst of anger
    synonyms: pique, temper
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    type of:
    annoyance, chafe, vexation
    anger produced by some annoying irritation
  6. noun
    the neural or electrical arousal of an organ or muscle or gland
    synonyms: excitation, innervation
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    type of:
    arousal
    a state of heightened physiological activity
  7. noun
    (pathology) abnormal sensitivity to stimulation
    “any food produced irritation of the stomach”
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    type of:
    abnormalcy, abnormality
    an abnormal physical condition resulting from defective genes or developmental deficiencies
    sensitisation, sensitization
    the state of being sensitive (as to an antigen)