irascible

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

Definition of irascible

: marked by hot temper and easily provoked anger

Other Words from irascible

irascibility \ i-​ˌra-​sə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce irascible (audio) \ noun
irascibleness \ i-​ˈra-​sə-​bəl-​nəs How to pronounce irascible (audio) \ noun
irascibly \ i-​ˈra-​sə-​blē How to pronounce irascible (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 a variant of the prefix in- that is used before words beginning 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") and the related adjective irascibilis, the latter of which led to the 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 Prince Philip, the occasionally irascible but always stalwart husband of Queen Elizabeth, died April 9, 2021, at age 99. Amy Haneline, USA TODAY, 9 Apr. 2022 Maude Newton, the ancestor after whom Maud (née Rebecca) chose her pen name, was described to her by her mother and grandmother as an idiosyncratic and irascible iconoclast, a woman who chose to live an independent life in Texas. Colin Dickey, The New Republic, 21 Mar. 2022 Gruff and irascible, Mr. Young, who survived occasional allegations of shady ethics, was a staunch opponent of environmental causes and a tough defender of Alaska’s oil, mineral and logging industries. New York Times, 18 Mar. 2022 But his own particular irascible disposition, as well as L.A.’s artistic climate of the time, conspired to keep him out of the spotlight. Matt Stromberg, Los Angeles Times, 8 Mar. 2022 Of course there will be conflict, even irascible central characters, because that’s where the comedy comes in, but, more important, there will be resolutions. Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times, 3 Mar. 2022 Another terrific adaptation with a tricky task at hand—translating a comic book into cinema, specifically the independent, autobiographical American Splendor comics written by the famously irascible Harvey Pekar. David Sims, The Atlantic, 26 Feb. 2022 The irascible and tough-minded husband of Queen Elizabeth II who spent more than seven decades supporting his wife in a role that both defined and constricted his life. Bernard Mcghee, ajc, 10 Dec. 2021 The irascible and tough-minded husband of Queen Elizabeth II who spent more than seven decades supporting his wife in a role that both defined and constricted his life. Bernard Mcghee, ajc, 10 Dec. 2021 See More

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.

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

Time Traveler

The first known use of irascible was circa 1530

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Dictionary Entries Near irascible

Iraqian

irascible

irate

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Last Updated

16 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Irascible.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/irascible. Accessed 29 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for irascible

irascible

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

Kids Definition of irascible

: easily angered

More from Merriam-Webster on irascible

Nglish: Translation of irascible for Spanish Speakers

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