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

Unfortunately, as played by Aussie actor Andrew Steel, Shankwitz too often comes off as an irascible, cowboyish boozer who needs a crash course in chivalry. Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times, "Review: Heartfelt ‘Wish Man’ dramatizes origins of the Make-A-Wish Foundation," 25 July 2019 As divided as Northern Ireland was and is, one thing unites it: an irascible unwillingness to be looked down upon by our neighbors across the Irish Sea. Eamon Lynch, azcentral, "Open Championship at Portrush may be the only thing Northern Ireland can agree on," 15 July 2019 The subsequent hearing attracted national attention, with reporters cramming into the Brattleboro town hall, and, in the opinion of most, the jokey, convivial local fellow came off far better than the stuffy, irascible Englishman. Charles Mcgrath, The New Yorker, "Rudyard Kipling in America," 1 July 2019 Jackson’s version of John Shaft was already distinct from Roundtree’s — more irascible, less smooth, more Jackson-y. Jesse Hassenger, The Verge, "Men in Black: International and Shaft show the limits of modern film franchises," 21 June 2019 Opinionated, irascible Get Offa My Lawn Guy never needed a microphone. Paul Daugherty,, "Doc: Our fathers are always with us, a part of who we are," 15 June 2019 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

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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Statistics for irascible

Last Updated

8 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for irascible

The first known use of irascible was circa 1530

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More Definitions for irascible



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

Comments on irascible

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a period when something is suspended

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