iras·​ci·​ble | \ i-ˈra-sə-bəl How to pronounce irascible (audio) \

Definition of irascible

: marked by hot temper and easily provoked anger

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Other Words from irascible

irascibility \ i-​ˌra-​sə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce irascibility (audio) \ noun
irascibleness \ i-​ˈra-​sə-​bəl-​nəs How to pronounce irascibleness (audio) \ noun
irascibly \ i-​ˈra-​sə-​blē How to pronounce irascibly (audio) \ adverb

Irascible Has an Angry History

If you try to take apart "irascible" in the same manner as "irrational," "irresistible," or "irresponsible," you might find yourself wondering what "ascible" means-but that's not how "irascible" came to be. The key to the meaning of "irascible" isn't the negative prefix ir- (which is used before words that begin with "r"), but the Latin noun ira, meaning "anger." From "ira," which is also the root of "irate" and "ire," came the Latin verb irasci ("to become angry"), which led to French irascible. English speakers borrowed the word from French in the 16th century.

Examples of irascible in a Sentence

an irascible old football coach He has an irascible disposition.

Recent Examples on the Web

As his literary stature grew, so did his reputation as a difficult, irascible personality. Sylvia Hui, Fox News, "Nobel Prize-winning author V.S. Naipaul dies at 85," 11 Aug. 2018 Upstairs, in a quiet corner, Rupert Murdoch gave Ed Koch a ribbing, the irascible mayor — into his third term — cowed by a tabloid king still on his way up. Jay Cheshes, Town & Country, "Caviar and Cocaine," 6 Feb. 2013 So the brilliant, grumpy and irascible priest of old times is gone, and — with him — goes a priceless oral history of the blues and thousands of songs. George Varga,, "Lou Curtiss, a key mentor to Tom Waits, Jack Tempchin and other musicians, has died at 79," 10 July 2018 The Lorax is the noble but irascible environmental guardian who lives in the enchanted land of the fluffy Truffula tree. James Hebert,, "At Old Globe, 'The Lorax' brings Dr. Seuss' environmental saga to vivid life," 8 July 2018 As Plummer humanizes his character, moving him from towering narcissist to irascible charmer, the story shoves Farmiga in the other direction. Gary Thompson,, "'Boundaries' reduces Farmiga to Plummer's helper.," 4 July 2018 Getty Images Harlan Ellison, the legendary, legendarily irascible speculative fiction writer who died this week at age 84, wrote the greatest episode of Star Trek ever made. Keith Phipps, Vox, "Harlan Ellison wrote Star Trek’s greatest episode. He hated it.," 29 June 2018 Juszkiewicz has a colourful reputation as a businessman, a reportedly irascible and temperamental character, he was known for taking his sales execs to a gun range to shoot up Fenders, Gibson's main rival guitar brand. Cary Darling, Houston Chronicle, "Let’s Go, EaDo: What to check out on Houston’s changing east side," 14 June 2018 The more the rest of the world complains, the more irascible China sounds. The Economist, "A threatened trade war between China and America may be on hold," 24 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'irascible.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of irascible

circa 1530, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for irascible

Middle French, from Late Latin irascibilis, from Latin irasci to become angry, be angry, from ira

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Time Traveler for irascible

The first known use of irascible was circa 1530

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English Language Learners Definition of irascible

: becoming angry very easily : having a bad temper


iras·​ci·​ble | \ i-ˈra-sə-bəl How to pronounce irascible (audio) \

Kids Definition of irascible

: easily angered

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More from Merriam-Webster on irascible

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with irascible

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for irascible

Spanish Central: Translation of irascible

Nglish: Translation of irascible for Spanish Speakers

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