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The following statistics are based on the British National Corpus, so they are representative for the British English.

Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the noun irritation:

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Definition of the noun irritation

What does irritation mean as a name of something?

noun - plural: irritations

  1. the psychological state of being irritated or annoyed
  2. a sudden outburst of anger
  3. (pathology) abnormal sensitivity to stimulation
    • example: any food produced irritation of the stomach
    • domain: pathology
    • lexical domain: States - nouns denoting stable states of affairs
    • more generic words: abnormalcy / abnormality = an abnormal physical condition resulting from defective genes or developmental deficiencies; sensitisation / sensitization = the state of being sensitive
  4. the neural or electrical arousal of an organ or muscle or gland
    • lexical domain: States - nouns denoting stable states of affairs
    • synonyms of irritation: excitation / innervation
    • more generic word: arousal = a state of heightened physiological activity
  5. an uncomfortable feeling of mental painfulness or distress
  6. unfriendly behavior that causes anger or resentment
    • lexical domain: Acts - nouns denoting acts or actions
    • synonyms of irritation: aggravation / provocation
    • more generic word: aggression = deliberately unfriendly behavior
    • more specific terms:
      • aggro = aggravation or aggression
      • last straw = the final irritation that stretches your patience beyond the limit
      • taunting / taunt / twit = aggravation by deriding or mocking or criticizing
  7. the act of troubling or annoying someone
    • lexical domain: Acts - nouns denoting acts or actions
    • synonyms of irritation: annoyance / annoying / vexation
    • more generic word: mistreatment = the practice of treating (someone or something) badly
    • more specific terms:
      • exasperation = actions that cause great irritation
      • red flag = something that irritates or demands immediate action

Alternative definition of the noun irritation


  1. The act of irritating, or exciting, or the state of being irritated; excitement; stimulation, usually of an undue and uncomfortable kind; especially, excitement of anger or passion; provocation; annoyance; anger.
  2. The act of exciting, or the condition of being excited to action, by stimulation; -- as, the condition of an organ of sense, when its nerve is affected by some external body; esp., the act of exciting muscle fibers to contraction, by artificial stimulation; as, the irritation of a motor nerve by electricity; also, the condition of a muscle and nerve, under such stimulation.
  3. A condition of morbid excitability or oversensitiveness of an organ or part of the body; a state in which the application of ordinary stimuli produces pain or excessive or vitiated action.


Irritation or exacerbation, in biology and physiology, is a state of inflammation or painful reaction to allergy or cell-lining damage. A stimulus or agent which induces the state of irritation is an irritant. Irritants are typically thought of as chemical agents but mechanical, thermal, and radiative stimuli can also be irritants. Irritation also has non-clinical usages referring to bothersome physical or psychological pain or discomfort.

Printed dictionaries and other books with definitions for Irritation

Click on a title to look inside that book (if available):

Google previewFit for Life: A New Beginning (2010)

The Ultimate Diet and Health Plan by Harvey Diamond

Irritation is a condition in which the body sets its defensive mechanisms in motion and speeds up its internal activities in order to unload stored-up toxins.

Google previewChemical Exposure and Toxic Responses (1996)

by Stephen K. Hall

Acute irritation is a local, reversible inflammatory response of the skin to direct injury by a single application of a toxic...

Google previewProblems in Gynaecology (2012)

by E.P.W. Tatford

Gastric irritation is a troublesome side-effect but can be ...

Google previewEssentials of Regional Anesthesia (2011)

by Alan David Kaye, Richard D. Urman, Nalini Vadivelu

Transient neurological symptoms or transient radicular irritation is a syndrome that manifests itself with back pain that radiates to the thighs and lower extremities after spinal anesthesia. The pain on a scale 1–10 has an average value of 6.2.

Google previewPeople and Buildings (2011)

by Robert Gutman

" Another source of irritation is the awareness that one might disturb others. "It would be nicer if the ...

Google previewHandbook of Cosmetic Science and Technology, Fourth Edition (2014)

by André O. Barel, Marc Paye, Howard I. Maibach

INTRODUCTION irritant dermatitis Skin irritation is a localized nonimmunologically mediated ...

Google previewQuality Improvement in Neonatal and Perinatal Medicine, An Issue of Clinics in Perinatology (2010)

by Alan R. Spitzer, Dan Ellsbury

Skin irritation is a major deterrent to compliance with hand hygiene; the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend lotions be available free of charge.46 5. Is this sink working properly, with water temperature that is not ...

Google previewComprehensive Cytopathology (2008)

by Marluce Bibbo, David Wilbur

Another extremely common response to irritation is the presence of multinucleation; however, the nuclei are small and ...

Google previewGripes (2009)

by Jean-Claude Kaufmann

Indeed irritation is a central element given that the functioning of the conjugal relationship is based on associations of opposites which give rise to ...

Google previewPoucher’s Perfumes, Cosmetics and Soaps (2013)

by H. Butler

Irritation is an effect to which everybody is susceptible, with some people reacting more strongly than others. Nearly all chemicals will irritate susceptible people at high concentration but irritation is concentration-dependent. There is normally a ...

Google previewSpine Surgery 2-Vol Set (2012)

Techniques, Complication Avoidance, and Management (Expert Consult - Online) by Edward C. Benzel

The most widely used test to differentiate leg pain resulting from hip pathology versus nerve root irritation is the straight leg raising test (SLR).

Google previewAHA! The Realization Book (1997)

by Janet McClure, Lillian Harben

Irritation is an evidence of suppressed anger; it is a lack of patience or lack of caring about others. It is sometimes called crossness, or petulance, occasionally called by its name of anger, but it is a deep resentment, usually an anger at ...

Google previewHow to Create a Medical Surveillance Program (2001)

An Example of a Program by Thomas M. Socha

Upper airway irritation is the most common respiratory effect reported by workers and can occur over a wide range of concentrations, most frequently above 1 ppm. However, airway irritation has occurred in some workers with exposures to ...

Google previewDictionary of Toxicology (2014)

by Ernest Hodgson, Michael Roe

the importance of eye function and the possibility of eye damage by chemicals has given rise to regulatory requirements for eye irritation tests, including the controversial Draize test; ...

Google previewA Dictionary of Neurological Signs (2010)

by A.J. Larner

Both indicate irritation of the lower lumbosacral nerve roots and/or meninges. The test may be positive with disc protrusion, intraspinal tumour, or inflammatory radiculopathy. Pain may be aggravated or elicited sooner using Bragard's test, ...

Google previewThe London encyclopaedia, or, Universal dictionary of science, art, literature, and practical mechanics, by the orig. ed. of the Encyclopaedia metropolitana [T. Curtis]. (1839)

by Thomas Curtis (of Grove house sch, Islington)

In the general way, however, the whole period of the malady, from its commencement with in- ttammatory irritation to its termination in hectic, convulsions, and death, is less than a month. Ttse lymph which is thrown out upon the brain is Bond ...

Google previewMosby's Dental Dictionary (2013)

by Elsevier, Mosby

irritation, n the act of stimulating. A condition of functional derangement and nervous irritability. irritation from ...

Google previewA dictionary of pratical medicine. 3 vols. [in 4]. 3 vols. [in 4]. (1858)

by James Copland

Diseases consisting of a Morbid Increase of Function of an Organ or Part arising chiefly from local Irritation or Excitement, or from Causes producing * an mREouLAR Distribution of Vital Force, especially in delicate ajtd irritable Subjects.

Google previewThe Encyclopedia of Pure Materia Medica (1880)

Index by Timothy Field Allen

irritation in trachea, in bed, Sul. ; tickling in trachea, Bov., Sep. ; on rising, Chin. s., FER., Hal., Indg., Sil. ; on waking, Ail., Cod., Sul., Tarent. ; forenoon, Aga. m., ...

Google previewThe Encyclopedia of Volcanoes (2015)

by Haraldur Sigurdsson, Bruce Houghton, Steve McNutt, Hazel Rymer, John Stix

Irritation of nose and eyes at low concentrations. dgas 1⁄4 3.4 g/L. Gas solubility 1 ⁄4 miscible in all proportions.

Google previewThe Encyclopedia of Skin and Skin Disorders, Third Edition (2009)

by Carol Turkington, Jeffrey S. Dover

Wet skin folds are prone to irritation. Patients find it embarrassing to shake hands and difficult to write neatly. Sweaty feet develop an unpleasant smell, ruin footwear, are prone to skin irritation or secondary infection, and require several sock ...

Google previewLondon Encyclopaedia; Or, Universal Dictionary of Science, Art, Literature and Practical Mechanics (1829)

Comprising a Popular View of the Present State of Knowledge

In the general way, however, the whole period of the malady, from its commencement with inflammatory irritation to its termination in hectic, convulsions, and death, is less than a month. The lymph which is thrown out upon the brain is found for ...

Online dictionaries and encyclopedias with entries for Irritation

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Photo credit: lisa-skorpion

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Small photo of Insect bite in the city, skin irritationSmall photo of Human Skin irritation. Finger point at rash.Small photo of Young Teenage Boy With Eye IrritationSmall photo of old man with eye irritation, optical problemSmall photo of A furious, angry, dissatisfied young Caucasian woman frowns in displeasure, shows a clenched fist, demonstrates strength and irritation, irritates someone. The concept of negative emotions.Small photo of Overcrowding concept. Full length portrait of angry young employee is sitting in confined carton office and expressing irritation from little space. He is pressing on wallsSmall photo of Need more space concept. Full length of young man is sitting in cardboard box while pushing the wall with his feet and trying to move them. He is expressing irritation More...

Video language resources about Irritation

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See also the pronunciation examples of Irritation!

Quotes about Irritation

Silence makes irritation grow.
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Scrabble value of I1R1R1I1T1A1T1I1O1N1

The value of this 10-letter word is 10 points. It is included in the first and second editions of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.

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