\ ˈī-rish How to pronounce Irish (audio) \

Definition of Irish

1 plural in construction : natives or inhabitants of Ireland or their descendants especially when of Celtic speech or culture
2a : the Celtic language of Ireland especially as used since the later medieval period
b : English spoken by the Irish

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from Irish

Irish adjective

Examples of Irish in a Sentence

How many Irish are there in England?

First Known Use of Irish

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for Irish

Middle English, from Old English *Īrisc, from Īras Irishmen, of Celtic origin; akin to Old Irish Ériu Ireland

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about Irish

Time Traveler for Irish

Time Traveler

The first known use of Irish was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for Irish

Cite this Entry

“Irish.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 23 January 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for Irish


How to pronounce Irish (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of Irish

: the people of Ireland : Irish people
: the Gaelic language of Ireland


\ ˈīr-ish How to pronounce Irish (audio) \

Kids Definition of Irish

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: of or relating to Ireland, its people, or the Irish language



Kids Definition of Irish (Entry 2 of 2)

1 Irish plural : the people of Ireland
2 : a language of Ireland

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on Irish

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with Irish

Spanish Central: Translation of Irish

Nglish: Translation of Irish for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of Irish for Arabic Speakers

Comments on Irish

What made you want to look up Irish? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


out of the ordinary or unreasonable

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Intact Latin Quiz

  • roman tablet
  • What did focus mean in Latin?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!