irregular

1 of 2

adjective

ir·​reg·​u·​lar i-ˈre-gyə-lər How to pronounce irregular (audio)
ˌi(r)-
1
a
: not being or acting in accord with laws, rules, or established custom
irregular conduct
b
: not conforming to the usual pattern of inflection
irregular verbs
specifically : strong sense 16
c
: not following a usual or prescribed procedure
especially, British : celebrated without either proclamation of the banns or publication of intention to marry
irregular marriage
2
: not belonging to or a part of a regular organized group
specifically : not belonging to a regular army but raised for a special purpose
irregular troops
3
a
: lacking perfect symmetry or evenness
an irregular coastline
b
: having one or more floral parts of the same whorl different in size, shape, or arrangement
specifically : zygomorphic
4
: lacking continuity or regularity especially of occurrence or activity
irregular employment
irregularly adverb

irregular

2 of 2

noun

: one that is irregular: such as
a
: a soldier who is not a member of a regular military force
b
irregulars plural : merchandise that has minor defects or that falls next below the manufacturer's standard for firsts
Choose the Right Synonym for irregular

irregular, anomalous, unnatural mean not conforming to rule, law, or custom.

irregular implies not conforming to a law or regulation imposed for the sake of uniformity in method, practice, or conduct.

concerned about his irregular behavior

anomalous implies not conforming to what might be expected because of the class or type to which it belongs or the laws that govern its existence.

her drive made her an anomalous figure in a sleepy organization

unnatural suggests what is contrary to nature or to principles or standards felt to be essential to the well-being of civilized society.

prisoners treated with unnatural cruelty

Examples of irregular in a Sentence

Adjective His behavior as a teacher was highly irregular. Her application was handled in an irregular manner. a very jagged, irregular surface The stone has an irregular shape. He has a very irregular schedule. The festival has been held at irregular intervals.
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
Build a robust emergency fund, equivalent to a year’s living expenses, to manage irregular income. Ebony Flake, Essence, 29 May 2024 The disease first manifests as a skin rash or fever, but other, more severe symptoms, including pain in the joints, a loss of vision, immune system activity that can cause irregular heart beats and arthritis. Charlotte Phillipp, Peoplemag, 17 May 2024
Noun
In a word, even before yesterday, Donbas was well on its way to becoming Ukraine’s Bosnia -- with Putin playing the part of Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic, Russia playing the part of Serbia, and Putin’s Donbas supporters playing the part of Bosnian Serb irregulars. Alexander J. Motyl, Foreign Affairs, 17 July 2014 But when strong-arm tactics by security irregulars failed to suppress the massive demonstrations in Tahrir Square, the senior officer corps, who regarded themselves foremost as guardians of the first Egyptian revolution, sent Mubarak into retirement. Robert H. Pelletreau, Foreign Affairs, 24 Feb. 2011 See all Example Sentences for irregular 

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

Word History

Etymology

Adjective

Middle English irreguler, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin irregularis not in accordance with rule, from Latin in- + regularis regular

First Known Use

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of irregular was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near irregular

Cite this Entry

“Irregular.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/irregular. Accessed 13 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

irregular

1 of 2 adjective
ir·​reg·​u·​lar (ˈ)ir-ˈ(r)eg-yə-lər How to pronounce irregular (audio)
1
a
: not following custom or rule
b
: not belonging to a recognized or organized body
irregular troops
2
a
: not following the normal or usual manner of inflection
the irregular verb "sell"
b
: strong sense 12
the irregular verb "write"
3
a
: having one or more like parts unequal in size, form, or the way they are arranged
irregular flowers
b
: uneven
4
: not continuous or regular in occurrence
at irregular intervals
irregularly adverb

irregular

2 of 2 noun
1
: an irregular soldier
2
: merchandise that is slightly imperfect

Medical Definition

irregular

adjective
ir·​reg·​u·​lar (ˈ)ir-ˈ(r)eg-yə-lər How to pronounce irregular (audio)
1
: lacking perfect symmetry of form : not straight, smooth, even, or regular
irregular teeth
2
a
: lacking continuity or regularity of occurrence, activity, or function
irregular breathing
b
of a physiological function : failing to occur at regular or normal intervals
irregular menstruation
have your bowels been irregular
c
of an individual : failing to defecate at regular or normal intervals
was constipated and very irregular
irregularly adverb

Legal Definition

irregular

adjective
ir·​reg·​u·​lar ir-ˈre-gyə-lər How to pronounce irregular (audio)
: not in accord with laws, rules, procedures, or established custom
irregularly adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on irregular

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