AskDefine | Define irritability

Dictionary Definition

irritability

Noun

1 an irritable petulant feeling [syn: crossness, fretfulness, fussiness, peevishness, petulance, choler]
2 excessive sensitivity of an organ or body part [syn: excitability]
3 a disposition to exhibit uncontrolled anger; "his temper was well known to all his employees" [syn: temper, biliousness, peevishness, pettishness, snappishness, surliness]

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Etymology

From irritabilitas

Noun

irritability
  1. The state or quality of being irritable; quick excitability; petulance; fretfulness; as, irritability of temper.
  2. A natural susceptibility, characteristic of all living organisms, tissues, and cells, to the influence of certain stimuli, response being manifested in a variety of ways.
  3. A condition of morbid excitability of an organ or part of the body; undue susceptibility to the influence of stimuli.

References

Extensive Definition

Irritability is an excessive response to stimuli. Irritability takes many forms, from the contraction of a unicellular organism when touched, to complex reactions involving all the senses of higher animals. In plants, response is usually different from that seen in animals, but is nonetheless present. The term irritability is used for both the physiological reaction to stimuli and for the pathological, abnormal or excessive sensitivity to stimuli.
Irritability may manifest in behavioral responses to both physiological as well as behavioral stimuli, including environmental, situational, sociological, and emotional stimuli.
irritability in Spanish: Irritabilidad
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