Definition of irritable in English:


Pronunciation /ˈirədəb(ə)l/ /ˈɪrədəb(ə)l/

See synonyms for irritable

Translate irritable into Spanish


  • 1Having or showing a tendency to be easily annoyed or made angry.

    ‘she was tired and irritable’
    • ‘She seemed irritable, and annoyed with my every move.’
    • ‘The wait would grate so terribly on my nerves that I could easily be irritable for days afterwards, but that particular drive was different.’
    • ‘Will asked, starting to get annoyed, the pain in his head making him more irritable.’
    • ‘And these US marines smoking more than usual under the stress of battle conditions are becoming increasingly irritable.’
    • ‘Seeing Sam was growing increasingly irritable, he changed the subject.’
    • ‘She began to grow very irritable at the thought of what would be expected of her.’
    • ‘The group seemed very irritable after that unpleasant sleep and they moved sluggishly around the desert.’
    • ‘Teething can be uncomfortable, but if your baby seems very irritable, contact your child's doctor.’
    • ‘She turned on her heel and marched out of Derek's house, feeling slightly irritable.’
    • ‘They started to deny what was happening, had less energy and became irritable.’
    • ‘I am going delirious from lack of sleep, and I am extremely irritable.’
    • ‘In case you hadn't noticed, I'm feeling incredibly irritable this week.’
    • ‘You may also feel irritable, chilly, and thirsty for cold drinks.’
    • ‘My irritable mood at lunch had now turned into a full blown temper.’
    • ‘He suffered from an alternation of depressed moods with elevated, expansive or irritable moods.’
    • ‘I guess I've been a little salty, a little irritable.’
    • ‘He drove up to the person and stopped the horse, who seemed irritable.’
    • ‘The child calmed considerably when she held him, but continued to be irritable.’
    • ‘Your baby may dribble a lot, be irritable, clingy and have trouble sleeping.’
    • ‘When I am in a bad mood I become sensitive and irritable.’
    bad-tempered, irascible, tetchy, testy, touchy, scratchy, grumpy, grouchy, moody, crotchety, in a mood, in a bad mood, cantankerous, curmudgeonly, ill-tempered, ill-natured, ill-humoured, peevish, having got out of bed on the wrong side, cross, fractious, disagreeable, pettish, crabbed, crabby, waspish, prickly, peppery, crusty, splenetic, shrewish, short-tempered, hot-tempered, quick-tempered, dyspeptic, choleric, bilious, liverish, cross-grained
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Medicine (of a bodily part or organ) abnormally sensitive.
      ‘I still have irritable bowels though and sometimes the pain keeps me up at night.’
      • ‘Because their skin is inherently irritable, patients with atopic diseases may not tolerate topical retinoids, even if they apply a moisturiser.’
      • ‘The drugs that treat asthma either relax the bronchial spasm, or reduce the inflammation that makes the bronchial tubes swollen and irritable to minor irritants.’
      • ‘An orthopaedic opinion was sought, and an irritable right hip was considered likely.’
      • ‘The patient with particularly irritable airways’
      • ‘An elbow pad may be used to avoid direct pressure on an inflamed, irritable nerve.’
    2. 1.2Medicine (of a condition) caused by abnormal sensitivity.
      ‘General primary care nurses were trained to deliver cognitive behaviour therapy to patients with irritable bowel syndrome’
      • ‘But acupuncture works well for certain kinds of conditions and irritable bladder syndrome is one of them.’
      • ‘It has been shown to sooth irritable coughs and other respiratory problems.’
      • ‘It is good for irritations of the body or mind, internal and external, and helps clean the kidneys, heal bladder infections and alleviate irritable bowel conditions.’
      • ‘Sometimes, gas indicates a digestive disorder such as irritable bowel syndrome or celiac disease.’
    3. 1.3Biology (of a living organism) having the property of responding actively to physical stimuli.
      • ‘To be a receiver rather than just an irritable organism is to be disposed to respond reliably and differentially to the perceivable environment.’


Mid 17th century from Latin irritabilis, from the verb irritare (see irritate).