- anything that irritates.
- Physiology, Pathology. a biological, chemical, or physical agent that stimulates a characteristic function or elicits a response, especially an inflammatory response.
Origin of irritant
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for irritants
For conservative partisans, Hagel is now the embodiment of all these irritants.Hagel’s Confirmation Hearings Contentious and Partisan
February 1, 2013
Dare we assume that these irritants were not without effect in hastening the conclusion?Venice and its Story
They are absolutely free from minerals, mercurials, caustics or irritants.Manhood Perfectly Restored
Antimony compounds act as irritants both externally and internally.
Removing the worms by irritants or by mechanical means does not remove the cause of their existence or reproduction in the body.Plain Talks on Avoided Subjects
Henry Newell Guernsey
I at once used friction and irritants, and in an hour and a half the respiration increased.
- causing irritation; irritating
- something irritant
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 irritants
1630s, from Latin irritantem (nominative irritans), present participle of irritare (see irritate). As a noun, from 1802.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- Causing irritation, especially physical irritation.
- A source of irritation.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.