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[ir-i-tey-shuh n] /ˌɪr ɪˈteɪ ʃən/
the act of irritating or the state of being irritated.
something that irritates.
Physiology, Pathology.
  1. the bringing of a bodily part or organ to an abnormally excited or sensitive condition.
  2. the condition itself.
Origin of irritation
First recorded in 1580-90, irritation is from the Latin word irrītātiōn- (stem of irrītātiō). See irritate, -ion
Can be confused Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for irritation
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • At last, however, he mastered his irritation to some degree, and spoke his command briefly.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • Gilder made a gesture of irritation, as he sank into the chair at his desk.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • The violence of her feelings, which must wear her out, may be easily kept in irritation.

    Lady Susan Jane Austen
  • Moreover, it was forcibly borne in upon him just what a source of irritation they had been.

    Dust Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius
  • Mrs. Little felt a strange mingling of pride and irritation at what she saw.

British Dictionary definitions for irritation


something that irritates
the act of irritating or the condition of being irritated
Derived Forms
irritative, adjective
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 irritation

early 15c., in reference to sores and morbid swelling, from Middle French irritation or directly from Latin irritationem (nominative irritatio) "incitement, irritation," noun of action from past participle stem of irritare (see irritate).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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irritation in Medicine

irritation ir·ri·ta·tion (ĭr'ĭ-tā'shən)

  1. Extreme incipient inflammatory reaction of the body tissues to an injury.

  2. The normal response of a nerve or muscle to a stimulus.

  3. The evocation of a reaction in the body tissues by the application of a stimulus.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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