• IPA: /ˌɪɹɪtəˈbɪlɪti/


  1. The state or quality of being irritable; quick excitability
    irritability of temper
  2. (physiology) 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.
    • 1836, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Specimens of the Table Talk
      There is growth only in plants; but there is irritability, or, a better word, instinctivity, in insects.
    • 1800, Erasmus Darwin, Phytologia, Or the Philosophy of Agriculture and Gardening
      We find a renitency in ourselves to ascribe life and irritability to the cold and motionless fibres of plants.
  3. (medicine) A condition of morbid excitability of an organ or part of the body; undue susceptibility to the influence of stimuli.
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