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annoyance

[ uh-noi-uhns ]
/ əˈnɔɪ əns /
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noun

a person or thing that annoys; nuisance: Unwanted visitors are an annoyance.
an act or instance of annoying.
the feeling of being annoyed.

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Origin of annoyance

1350–1400; Middle English <Middle French; see annoy, -ance
aggravation, annoyance , intensification, irritation, worsening
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

VOCAB BUILDER

What does annoyance mean?

An annoyance is someone or something that annoys—bothers or irritates.

Annoyance can also refer to the feeling of being annoyed, the act of annoying, or an instance in which someone or something is annoying.

The word implies that the resulting irritation does not rise to the level of serious harm or a major problem—even if someone or something annoys you very much.

An annoyance usually consists of some kind of irritating and unwanted behavior (especially when it’s repeated), such as someone chewing too loudly or asking you the same question over and over again. Things that are annoyances are often those that distract, interrupt, or intrude on what you’re trying to do, like a noise that keeps waking you up when you’re trying to fall asleep or a pop-up ad.

The word is sometimes used to contrast with something considered a serious problem, as in It’s no big deal—just a minor annoyance. 

Someone who is bothered in this way can be described as annoyed. Someone or something that annoys you can be described as annoying.

Example: I know all this paperwork is an annoyance, but just try to get through it as quickly as you can.

Where does annoyance come from?

The first records of the word annoyance come from the 1300s. Its base word, annoy, comes from the Old French anoier, meaning “to tire” or “to harm.” This term derived from the Late Latin verb inodiāre, which means “to cause aversion” and itself comes from the Latin phrase mihi in odiō est, meaning “I dislike.” The suffix -ance is used to form nouns.

People and things that are annoyances do things that you dislike—things that bother you. Still, it’s usually something minor and not truly harmful. It’s more common to describe something as annoying than to call it an annoyance, but the word annoyance is fairly common.

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What are some other forms related to annoyance?

What are some synonyms for annoyance?

What are some words that share a root or word element with annoyance

 

What are some words that often get used in discussing annoyance?

 

How is annoyance used in real life?

Annoyance most commonly refers to a feeling of irritation or the person or thing that’s causing this feeling. It’s always used negatively.

 

Try using annoyance!

Which of the following words is a synonym of annoyance?

A. irritation
B. frustration
C. aggravation
D. all of the above

British Dictionary definitions for annoyance

annoyance
/ (əˈnɔɪəns) /

noun

the feeling of being annoyed
the act of annoying
a person or thing that annoys
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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