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irritant

[ir-i-tnt]
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adjective
  1. tending to cause irritation; irritating.
noun
  1. anything that irritates.
  2. Physiology, Pathology. a biological, chemical, or physical agent that stimulates a characteristic function or elicits a response, especially an inflammatory response.

Origin of irritant

1630–40; < Latin irrītant- (stem of irrītāns), present participle of irrītāre to irritate; see -ant
Related formsir·ri·tan·cy, nounnon·ir·ri·tan·cy, nounnon·ir·ri·tant, adjectiveun·ir·ri·tant, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for irritant

irritant

adjective
  1. causing irritation; irritating
noun
  1. something irritant
Derived Formsirritancy, noun
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 irritant

adj.

1630s, from Latin irritantem (nominative irritans), present participle of irritare (see irritate). As a noun, from 1802.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

irritant in Medicine

irritant

(ĭrĭ-tənt)
adj.
  1. Causing irritation, especially physical irritation.
n.
  1. A source of irritation.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.