early 15c., irritacioun, in physiology, in reference to sores and morbid swelling, from Old French irritacion or directly from Latin irritationem (nominative irritatio) "incitement, stimulus; irritation, wrath, anger," noun of action from past-participle stem of irritare "to excite, provoke" (see irritate). Meaning "impatient or angry excitement" is from 1703.
c. 1400, "to vex, irritate," probably a back-formation from crabbed. The notions of "bad-tempered, combative" and "sour" in the two nouns crab naturally yielded a verb meaning of "to vex, irritate," later "to complain irritably, find fault" (c. 1500). As "to fish for crabs" from 1650s (implied in crabbing). The noun meaning "sour person" is from 1570s.
"irritation, provocation," 1540s, from Late Latin exasperationem (nominative exasperatio), noun of action from past-participle stem of exasperare "roughen; irritate" (see exasperate).
"irritate, exasperate," 1907 (implied in peeved), back-formation from peevish. Also "to grumble, complain" (1912). As a noun, attested by 1910. Related: Peeved; peeving; peeves.