English edit

Pronunciation edit

  • (file)
  • IPA(key): /əˈnɔɪ/
  • Rhymes: -ɔɪ

Etymology 1 edit

From Middle English anoyen, a borrowing from Anglo-Norman anuier, Old French enuier (to molest, harm, tire), from Late Latin inodiō (cause aversion, make hateful, verb), from the phrase in odiō (hated), from Latin odium (hatred). Displaced native Old English dreċċan and gremman.

Verb edit

annoy (third-person singular simple present annoys, present participle annoying, simple past and past participle annoyed)

  1. (transitive) To disturb or irritate, especially by continued or repeated acts; to bother with unpleasant deeds.
    • 1735, Alexander Pope, Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot[1]:
      Yet let me flap this bug with gilded wings, / This painted child of dirt that stinks and stings; / Whose buzz the witty and the fair annoys, / Yet wit ne'er tastes, and beauty ne'r enjoys.
    • 2013 May 25, “No hiding place”, in The Economist[2], volume 407, number 8837, page 74:
      In America alone, people spent $170 billion on “direct marketing”—junk mail of both the physical and electronic varieties—last year. Yet of those who received unsolicited adverts through the post, only 3% bought anything as a result. If the bumf arrived electronically, the take-up rate was 0.1%. And for online adverts the “conversion” into sales was a minuscule 0.01%. That means about $165 billion was spent not on drumming up business, but on annoying people, creating landfill and cluttering spam filters.
    Marc loved his sister, but when she annoyed him he wanted to switch her off.
  2. (intransitive) To do something to upset or anger someone; to be troublesome.
    • 1993, D.C. Fontana, Peter Allan Fields, “Dax”, in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, season 1, episode 8, spoken by Kira Nerys (Nana Visitor):
      You Klaestrons are allies of the Cardassians; your knowledge of the station confirms that they must have given you the layouts. Which not only compromises Bajoran security, but also... annoys us.
  3. (transitive) To molest; to harm; to injure.
    to annoy an army by impeding its march, or by a cannonade
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Etymology 2 edit

From Middle English anoy, from Old French enui. Doublet of ennui.

Noun edit

annoy (plural annoys)

  1. (literary, archaic) A feeling of discomfort or vexation caused by what one dislikes.
    • 1606 (date written), [Francis Beaumont; John Fletcher], The Woman Hater. [], London: [] [Robert Raworth], and are to be sold by John Hodgets [], published 1607, →OCLC, Act III, scene i:
      VVe that ſuffer long anoy / Are contented vvith a thought / Through an idle fancie vvrought / O let my ioyes have ſome abiding.
    • 1870, Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Success”, in Society and Solitude. Twelve Chapters, Boston, Mass.: Fields, Osgood, & Co., →OCLC, page 272:
      [I]f she says he was defeated, why he had better, a great deal, have been defeated, than give her a moment's annoy.
  2. (literary, archaic) That which causes such a feeling.
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Middle English edit

Noun edit


  1. Alternative form of anoy