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ir·​rec·​on·​cil·​able i-ˌre-kən-ˈsī-lə-bəl How to pronounce irreconcilable (audio)
: impossible to reconcile
irreconcilable differences
irreconcilability noun
irreconcilableness noun
i-ˌre-kən-ˈsī-lə-blē How to pronounce irreconcilable (audio)


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: one that is irreconcilable
especially : a member of a group (such as a political party) opposing compromise or collaboration

Examples of irreconcilable in a Sentence

Adjective theories that are irreconcilable with each other
Recent Examples on the Web
Matson Photograph Collection, Library of Congress Over the following decades, two nationalisms, Palestinian and Jewish, took root on the same land and began to compete in a way that has ever since proved irreconcilable. Emily Bazelon, New York Times, 1 Feb. 2024 When a person’s in a double bind, they’re confronted with two irreconcilable demands and feel set-up to fail. Talia Milgrom-Elcott, Forbes, 12 Feb. 2024 The issues involved feel irreconcilable, because many of those engaged in the debate believe that their positions represent the moral high ground. Charles Blow, The Mercury News, 10 Feb. 2024 There’s an irreconcilable gap between the singer during performance and her at home being chased by an angry husband or lovingly tending to her children or drinking the ache of comedown from her tour away. Harmony Holiday, Los Angeles Times, 1 Dec. 2023 Or, to be more precise, two conceptions of the relationship between human beings and the natural world, which today might seem irreconcilable to us. Anderson Tepper, Los Angeles Times, 13 Sep. 2023 What looked like the monoculture of American life in 1960, distilled down into the pristine clarity of the domestic TV situational comedy, is instantly remade into a portrait of irreconcilable divisions. Vulture, 6 Dec. 2023 The administration would argue that Congress had approved two irreconcilable laws — the debt ceiling, and then measures that require spending in excess of the limit. Jeff Stein, Washington Post, 8 May 2023 Since the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, the Palestinian people have been presented with two competing, irreconcilable visions of their future. Ghaith Al-Omari, The Atlantic, 19 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'irreconcilable.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


1587, in the meaning defined above


1748, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of irreconcilable was in 1587

Dictionary Entries Near irreconcilable

Cite this Entry

“Irreconcilable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


: impossible to reconcile, adjust, or harmonize
ended the partnership because of irreconcilable differences

More from Merriam-Webster on irreconcilable

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