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[urk] /ɜrk/
verb (used with object)
to irritate, annoy, or exasperate:
It irked him to wait in line.
Origin of irk
1300-50; Middle English irken to grow tired, tire < Old Norse yrkja to work, cognate with Old English wyrcan; see work
chafe, fret, bother; tire. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for irked
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But he felt he had to conceal something from her, and it irked him.

    Sons and Lovers David Herbert Lawrence
  • It was soon seen, too, that just as he irked her, so she disparaged him—an open road to others.

    On the Stairs Henry B. Fuller
  • He continued pacing to and fro, irked by his predicament, frowning with thought.

  • After the humiliation of what had been said it irked Tabs to have to see him pay it.

    The Kingdom Round the Corner Coningsby Dawson
  • He shook himself, as though his clothes, perhaps his body even, irked him.

    The Bright Messenger Algernon Blackwood
British Dictionary definitions for irked


(transitive) to irritate, vex, or annoy
Word Origin
C13 irken to grow weary; probably related to Old Norse yrkja to work
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for irked



mid-15c., irken "be weary of, be disgusted with;" earlier intransitive, "to feel weary" (early 14c.). Of uncertain origin, perhaps related to Old Norse yrkja "work" (from PIE root *werg- "to work;" see urge (v.)), or Middle High German erken "to disgust." Modern sense of "annoy" is from late 15c. An adjective, irk "weary, tired" is attested from c.1300 in northern and midlands writing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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