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 Dictionary entry overview: What does irritating mean? 

IRRITATING (adjective)
  The adjective IRRITATING has 3 senses:

1. causing irritation or annoyance
2. (used of physical stimuli) serving to stimulate or excite
3. causing physical discomfort

  Familiarity information: IRRITATING used as an adjective is uncommon.

 Dictionary entry details 

IRRITATING (adjective)

Sense 1irritating [BACK TO TOP]


Causing irritation or annoyance


annoying; vexatious; pestering; pesky; nettlesome; irritating; galling; bothersome; plaguy; vexing; plaguey; teasing; pestiferous

Context examples:

tapping an annoying rhythm on his glass with his fork / aircraft noise is particularly bothersome near the airport / found it galling to have to ask permission / an irritating delay / nettlesome paperwork / a pesky mosquito / swarms of pestering gnats / a plaguey newfangled safety catch / a teasing and persistent thought annoyed him / a vexatious child / it is vexing to have to admit you are wrong


disagreeable (not to your liking)

Sense 2irritating [BACK TO TOP]


(used of physical stimuli) serving to stimulate or excite


irritative; irritating

Context example:

an irritative agent


stimulative (capable of arousing or accelerating physiological or psychological activity or response by a chemical agent)

Sense 3irritating [BACK TO TOP]


Causing physical discomfort


irritating; painful

Context example:

bites of black flies are more than irritating; they can be very painful


uncomfortable (providing or experiencing physical discomfort)

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