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irritant

[ir-i-tnt]
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adjective
  1. tending to cause irritation; irritating.
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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.
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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 irritants

irritant

adjective
  1. causing irritation; irritating
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noun
  1. something irritant
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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 irritants

irritant

adj.

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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

irritants in Medicine

irritant

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