to cause (someone) to have a feeling of impatience or anger; annoy:[~ + object]Her whining really irritates me.
to cause (someone to have) a feeling of itching or other irritation on the skin or on a part of the body: [no object]That chemical irritates if it gets on your skin.[~ + object]Harsh soap irritates her skin.
Physiologyto excite (a living system) to some characteristic action or function.
Pathologyto bring (a body part) to an abnormally excited or sensitive condition.
to cause irritation or become irritated.
Latin irrītātus, past participle of irrītāre to arouse to anger, excite, aggravate, equivalent. to irritā- verb, verbal stem + -tus past participle suffix
1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged vex, chafe, fret, gall; nettle, ruffle, pique; incense, enrage, infuriate, inflame. Irritate,exasperate,provoke mean to annoy or stir to anger. To irritate is to excite to impatience or angry feeling, often of no great depth or duration:to irritate by refusing to explain an action.To exasperate is to irritate to a point where self-control is threatened or lost:to exasperate by continual delays and excuses.To provoke is to stir to a sudden, strong feeling of resentful anger as by unwarrantable acts or wanton annoyance:to tease and provoke an animal until it attacks.