2. To excite anger or displeasure in; to provoke; to tease; to exasperate; to annoy; to vex; as, the insolence of a tyrant irritates his subjects. Dismiss the man, nor irritate the god: Prevent the rage of him who reigns above. (Pope)
to irritate, Provoke, Exasperate. These words express different stages of excited or angry feeling. Irritate denotes an excitement of quick and slightly angry feeling which is only momentary; as, irritated by a hasty remark. To provoke implies the awakening of some open expression of decided anger; as, a provoking insult. Exasperate denotes a provoking of anger at something unendurable. Whatever comes across our feelings irritates; whatever excites anger provokes; whatever raises anger to a high point exasperates. Susceptible and nervous people are most easily irrita 4b4 ted; proud people are quickly provoked; hot and fiery people are soonest exasperated.