irritable

[ir-i-tuh-buhl]

adjective

easily irritated or annoyed; readily excited to impatience or anger.
Physiology, Biology. displaying irritability.
Pathology. susceptible to physical irritation.
Medicine/Medical. abnormally sensitive to a stimulus.

Nearby words

  1. irrigate,
  2. irrigation,
  3. irrigative,
  4. irriguous,
  5. irritability,
  6. irritable bowel syndrome,
  7. irritable heart,
  8. irritant,
  9. irritate,
  10. irritated

Origin of irritable

1655–65; < Latin irrītābilis, equivalent to irrītā(re) to irritate + -bilis -ble

SYNONYMS FOR irritable
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.

Related forms
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for irritable


British Dictionary definitions for irritable

irritable

adjective

quickly irritated; easily annoyed; peevish
(of all living organisms) capable of responding to such stimuli as heat, light, and touch
pathol abnormally sensitive
Derived Formsirritability, nounirritableness, nounirritably, adverb

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 irritable

irritable

adj.

1660s, from French irritable and directly from Latin irritabilis "easily excited," from irritare (see irritate). Related: Irritably.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for irritable

irritable

[ĭrĭ-tə-bəl]

adj.

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.