V2 Vocabulary Building Dictionary



Definition: characterized by anger, or easily angered

Synonyms: irritable, angry, testy, cross, belligerent, quick-tempered, petulant

Antonyms: cheerful, pleasant, easygoing

Tips: Irascible is derived from the Latin irasci, which means "to grow angry." Irascible describes someone who grows angry very easily. Think also of the related adjective irate, which means "very angry." Irascible people are irate a lot of the time. Irascible is a more sophisticated way of saying irritable. Irascible is similar in meaning and use to petulant and belligerent: Use irascible to describe someone who gets angry easily, use petulant to describe someone who gets annoyed and complains easily (usually in a childish way), and use belligerent to describe someone who is easily provoked to fight. For a memory trick, note that irascible sounds like "harass a bull." Now, consider that you would not want to irritate a bull and you certainly would not want to "harass a bull," especially an irascible (easily angered) bull. Bulls are known to be quite irascible (easily irritated).

Usage Examples:

Rush-hour traffic always made her irascible and unfriendly, but a cup of tea, once at the office, helped calm her. (irritable, testy)

Her employer's irascible response made her wonder if he was mad at her or just in a bad mood. (testy, angry)

The irascible man had been arrested for starting fights several times. (belligerent)

His irascible behavior that morning made me afraid of angering him further, that afternoon. (cross, angry)

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