The verb irk means "annoy," so if the incessant barking of your next door neighbor's pug is driving you crazy, you can say that the noise irks you.

  • Pronunciation: / ɝk/
  • English description: irritate or vex
  • Synonyms: gall
  • Chinese Translation:  使烦恼(shi3 fan2 nao3)
  • Spanish Translation: irritar
  • ORIGIN: Being irked is an individual thing — what drives you crazy might be something your friend doesn't even notice. For example, it might irk your grammarian friend every time he hears someone says "ain't," but other people don't mind it. The earliest version of the word irk,irken, meant "to feel weary or tired," but it later came to mean "to tire of or to be disgusted with."


  • But his reform attempts have backfired, delivering little while managing to irk powerful political players who stand to lose out.
  • Terrorism, he argued, might well irk nations and governments, but it was not enough to threaten them existentially.

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