Irritate, exasperate, nettle, provoke, aggravate, rile, peeve are comparable when meaning to excite a feeling of angry annoyance in a person.
Something which irritates greatly displeases or offends and evokes a display of feeling ranging from momentary impatience to an outburst of rage.
Something which exasperates arouses bitter or intense irritation. The word, however, sometimes expresses nothing more than keen vexation or annoyance.
Something which nettles irritates sharply but momentarily and stings or piques more than angers <a touch of light scorn in her voice nettled me —W. J. Locke >
Something which provokes awakens strong annoyance or vexation and often incites to action.
Something which aggravates (see also INTENSIFY ) arouses displeasure, impatience, or anger often through prolonged or repeated action.
Something which riles disturbs one’s serenity or peace and agitates as well as angers.
Something which peeves excites often petty or querulous fretfulness or a tendency to be easily irritated.