|an·noy (-noi)|tr.v. an·noyed
1. To cause slight irritation to (another) by troublesome, often repeated acts.
2. Archaic To harass or disturb by repeated attacks.
[Middle English anoien
, from Old French anoier, ennuyer
, from Vulgar Latin *inodire
, to make odious
, from Latin in odio
; see in-2
, ablative of odium
; see od-
in Indo-European roots.]
Synonyms: annoy, irritate, bother, irk, vex, provoke, aggravate, peeve, rile
These verbs mean to disturb or trouble a person, evoking moderate anger. Annoy refers to mild disturbance caused by an act that tries ones patience: The sound of the printer annoyed me.
Irritate is somewhat stronger: I was irritated by their constant interruptions.
Bother implies imposition: In the end, his complaining just bothered the supervisor.
Irk connotes a wearisome quality: The city councils inactivity irked the community.
Vex applies to an act capable of arousing anger or perplexity: Hecklers in the crowd vexed the speaker.
Provoke implies strong and often deliberate incitement to anger: His behavior provoked me to reprimand the whole team.
Aggravate is a less formal equivalent: Threats only served to aggravate people in such cases (William Makepeace Thackeray).
Peeve, also somewhat informal, suggests a querulous, resentful response to a mild disturbance: Your flippant answers peeved me.
To rile is to upset and to stir up: It riled me to have to listen to such lies.