Word: irate

Pronunciation: ai-RAYT

Part of Speech: adjective

Definition: feeling or characterized by great anger

Source: Oxford Dictionaries


OK, so I decided to go with a simpler word this week. There isn’t too much I can say about the word “irate”, except that it’s on the more intense end of the “angry” spectrum. This is easy to understand, since the root of the word “irate” is “ire”, both of which come from Latin, respectively the adjective iratus (“angry”, “enraged”, “furious”) and the noun ira (“anger”, “rage”, “wrath”). Basically, it’s just another word to add to the long list of synonyms for “angry”.

When it comes to my writing, I prefer to use “irate” in scenes involving characters who are so enraged by the given circumstances, they’re practically seeing red. For example, the most recent use of the word in one of my narratives was in a love story involving a teenage couple whose relationship, for sociopolitical reasons, was considered taboo (yes, sort of like a modern version of Romeo and Juliet). In this case, “irate” was one of my words of choice to describe their parents’ reactions upon discovering they’d been secretly involved for several months. While I included various synonyms for “angry” in the scene, this one seemed especially fitting for the level of outrage that I wanted to portray, as it rests on a similar line of the spectrum as words like “infuriated” and “livid”. In my opinion, “irate” is a good word to keep in mind for descriptions of extremely angry characters; after all, you can never have too extensive a vocabulary when writing about emotions!

What are your thoughts on this word? Any suggestions for future “Word of the Week” featured words?

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