ir·​re·​duc·​ible | \ ˌir-i-ˈdü-sə-bəl How to pronounce irreducible (audio) , -ˈdyü- \

Definition of irreducible

1 : impossible to transform into or restore to a desired or simpler condition an irreducible matrix specifically : incapable of being factored into polynomials of lower degree with coefficients in some given field (such as the rational numbers) or integral domain (such as the integers) an irreducible equation
2 : impossible to make less or smaller an irreducible minimum

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Other Words from irreducible

irreducibility \ ˌir-​i-​ˌdü-​sə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce irreducible (audio) , -​ˌdyü-​ \ noun
irreducibly \ ˌir-​i-​ˈdü-​sə-​blē How to pronounce irreducible (audio) , -​ˈdyü-​ \ adverb

Examples of irreducible in a Sentence

They thought the world was made up of four irreducible elements: earth, air, fire, and water.
Recent Examples on the Web Few irreducible principles have been evident in her political career, but one of them is the right to the pursuit of happiness. Margaret Talbot, The New Yorker, 11 Aug. 2021 There’s a speechless and irreducible quality to great art, a value that goes beyond communication or advocacy. Jason Farago, New York Times, 9 June 2021 The irreducible essence of policing is not law enforcement itself but discretion over which laws to enforce, over how to achieve order. Stuart Schrader, The New Republic, 27 May 2021 What has gotten so fouled up that vague symbolic fights obscure the irreducible communal basis of our prosperity and strength? Greg Jackson, Harper's Magazine, 25 May 2021 Immersion is most compellingly provided by the artist Sarah Sze, whose multimedia sculptural installations are the embodiment of irreducible complexity. Jonathon Keats, Forbes, 10 Mar. 2021 In this wise, melancholic work, the death of a child is an irreducible truth beside which all else is contingent, an iron sadness that exists at the core of everything. Sam Sacks, WSJ, 24 Dec. 2020 Behind his performances of great men was an irreducible stillness and personal dignity. Ismail Muhammad Kiese Makeba Laymon Carina Del Valle Schorske Dessa Irina Aleksander Sam Dolnick Mark Binelli Maggie Jones Rob Hoerburger Jamie Lauren Keiles Devin Gordon Jazmine Hughes Jenna Wortham Jade Chang Taffy Brodesser-akner Kaitlyn Greenidge Reginald Dwayne Betts Rowan Ricardo Phillips Michael Paterniti Wesley Morris Anthony Giardina, New York Times, 23 Dec. 2020 Shaw’s resistance to determinism, and his insistence on the irreducible reality of human consciousness and will in nature and history, elicited Chesterton’s profound respect and admiration. M. D. Aeschliman, National Review, 5 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'irreducible.' 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 irreducible

1633, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for irreducible

Time Traveler

The first known use of irreducible was in 1633

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Dictionary Entries Near irreducible



irreducible equation

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Last Updated

16 Aug 2021

Cite this Entry

“Irreducible.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for irreducible



English Language Learners Definition of irreducible

: not able to be made smaller or simpler


ir·​re·​duc·​ible | \ ˌir-i-ˈd(y)ü-sə-bəl How to pronounce irreducible (audio) \

Medical Definition of irreducible

: impossible to bring into a desired or normal state an irreducible hernia

Other Words from irreducible

irreducibility \ -​ˌd(y)ü-​sə-​ˈbil-​ət-​ē How to pronounce irreducible (audio) \ noun, plural irreducibilities

More from Merriam-Webster on irreducible

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for irreducible

Nglish: Translation of irreducible for Spanish Speakers


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