ir·​re·​spon·​si·​ble | \ ˌir-i-ˈspän(t)-sə-bəl How to pronounce irresponsible (audio) \

Definition of irresponsible

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: not responsible: such as
a : lacking a sense of responsibility
b : said or done with no sense of responsibility irresponsible accusations
c : unable especially mentally or financially to bear responsibility
d : not answerable to higher authority an irresponsible dictatorship



Definition of irresponsible (Entry 2 of 2)

: a person who is irresponsible

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Other Words from irresponsible


irresponsibility \ ˌir-​i-​ˌspän(t)-​sə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce irresponsible (audio) \ noun
irresponsibleness \ ˌir-​i-​ˈspän(t)-​sə-​bəl-​nəs How to pronounce irresponsible (audio) \ noun
irresponsibly \ ˌir-​i-​ˈspän(t)-​sə-​blē How to pronounce irresponsible (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for irresponsible

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of irresponsible in a Sentence

Adjective He's too irresponsible to keep a job for more than a week. She made irresponsible comments that helped cause the riot. It would be irresponsible to ignore the threats.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective This is irresponsible and, quite simply, ridiculous. Los Angeles Times, "Column: Peloton won’t recall treadmill that killed a child. Why aren’t officials acting?," 21 Apr. 2021 That sort of rhetoric -- at a moment of such heightened tensions -- is irresponsible coming from anyone. Chris Cillizza, CNN, "Maxine Waters just made a volatile situation much, much worse," 19 Apr. 2021 Only the Texas Rangers planned a packed stadium for its home opener on April 5, a move President Joe Biden called irresponsible. Alex R. Piquero, The Conversation, "What baseball can learn about COVID-19 case spikes and crowd size from the NFL’s 2020 season," 2 Apr. 2021 Critics of this reticence have called it irresponsible to ignore the broader context of current racial tension in the country. Bryan Hood, Robb Report, "How (and Where) to Donate to Help Support the Asian American and Pacific Islander Community," 19 Mar. 2021 Tobias Ellwood, the Conservative Party’s chair of the House of Commons defense select committee, called the escalation irresponsible. James Ludden,, "EU Trade Offer Is Unacceptable, U.K. Government Official Says," 12 Dec. 2020 The Marcellus Shale Coalition rejects the idea that the industry is in any way irresponsible regarding the environment, insisting that its members are in full compliance with state and federal regulations. Steven Lerner, Washington Examiner, "As Pennsylvania shale industry takes center stage in presidential campaign, report suggests state should look at alternative energy sources," 28 Oct. 2020 Right now, there are people on social media posting about how irresponsible students are going to force us all back online. Ginger Rough, The Indianapolis Star, "Some Indiana college students are partying — and paying for it with suspensions," 22 Aug. 2020 The three-member Health Board called the celebration irresponsible. USA TODAY, "Vaccine research, firework plans, school rules: News from around our 50 states," 27 May 2020

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


1648, in the meaning defined above


1892, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for irresponsible

Time Traveler

The first known use of irresponsible was in 1648

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Statistics for irresponsible

Last Updated

4 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Irresponsible.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for irresponsible



English Language Learners Definition of irresponsible

: not having or showing maturity or good judgment : not responsible


ir·​re·​spon·​si·​ble | \ ˌir-i-ˈspän-sə-bəl How to pronounce irresponsible (audio) \

Kids Definition of irresponsible

: having or showing little or no sense of responsibility You're too irresponsible for a pet.

Other Words from irresponsible

irresponsibly \ -​ˈspän-​sə-​blē \ adverb


ir·​re·​spon·​si·​ble | \ ˌir-i-ˈspän(t)-sə-bəl How to pronounce irresponsible (audio) \

Medical Definition of irresponsible

: not responsible : mentally inadequate to bear responsibility

Other Words from irresponsible

irresponsibility \ -​ˌspän(t)-​sə-​ˈbil-​ət-​ē How to pronounce irresponsible (audio) \ noun, plural irresponsibilities

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