Origin of irritable
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
1. snappish, petulant, resentful. Irritable, testy, touchy, irascible are adjectives meaning easily upset, offended, or angered. Irritable means easily annoyed or bothered, and it implies cross and snappish behavior: an irritable clerk, rude and hostile; Impatient and irritable, he was constantly complaining. Testy describes the same kind of behavior or response, particularly to minor annoyances: always on edge, testy and sharp in response; testy and petulant, resenting any interruption. Touchy emphasizes oversensitivity and readiness to take offense, even when none is intended: especially touchy about any reference to obesity. Irascible means habitually angry or easily aroused to anger: an irascible tyrant, roaring at employees for the slightest error.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for irritably
Irritably, he complies, but when the stewardess moves on, he reclines the chair again, muttering balefully under his breath.Stacks: Hitting the Note with the Allman Brothers Band
March 15, 2014
"I believe I spoke plainly," said the superintendent, irritably.Brave and Bold
His mate warned him irritably away, and he curled up and slept in the entrance.White Fang
"You are certainly the most economical man I ever saw," declared the Prince, irritably.Prince Vance
“You indulge the children too much, Ameres,” his wife said irritably.The Cat of Bubastes
G. A. Henty
"Then you will never marry a foreign husband," returned the sculptor, irritably.Melomaniacs
- quickly irritated; easily annoyed; peevish
- (of all living organisms) capable of responding to such stimuli as heat, light, and touch
- pathol abnormally sensitive
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
Word Origin and History for irritably
1660s, from French irritable and directly from Latin irritabilis "easily excited," from irritare (see irritate). Related: Irritably.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- Capable of reacting to a stimulus.
- Abnormally sensitive to a stimulus.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.