ir·​re·​triev·​able | \ ˌir-i-ˈtrē-və-bəl How to pronounce irretrievable (audio) \

Definition of irretrievable

: not retrievable : impossible to regain or recover

Other Words from irretrievable

irretrievability \ ˌir-​i-​ˌtrē-​və-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce irretrievable (audio) \ noun
irretrievably \ ˌir-​i-​ˈtrē-​və-​blē How to pronounce irretrievable (audio) \ adverb

Examples of irretrievable in a Sentence

The data was irretrievable after the computer crashed. the irretrievable breakdown of a marriage
Recent Examples on the Web While the losses are irretrievable and emotional wounds still sting, Lee said Asian and Black Angelenos have achieved a remarkable amount of healing and community-building in the intervening years. NBC News, 28 Apr. 2022 That irretrievable three hours was probably not a good use of my time. Mark Settle, Forbes, 12 Apr. 2022 Before the gore begins (and even mid-action), West seems to truly consider the pain of irretrievable youth, and feel for those whose final years are consumed by it. John Defore, The Hollywood Reporter, 14 Mar. 2022 The European Union's foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, said Monday that though unity and pressure on Russia was vital, the situation was not irretrievable. Stephen Collinson, CNN, 25 Jan. 2022 Then, over the centuries (and especially in the 20th), nostalgia became less about longing for homeland and more about longing for home-time — for something static and irretrievable. Washington Post, 28 Dec. 2021 The book touches on the terror of the Nazi years and the repression of imposed by communism, all filtered through a sense of longing for a sensuous and irretrievable past. Washington Post, 8 Sep. 2021 That purposeful spilling, and the fact that something spilled cannot be unspilled, denotes for Calasso the irretrievable nature of time’s arrow and time’s wound. New York Times, 28 Apr. 2020 But those masters still represent an irretrievable loss. New York Times, 11 June 2019 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'irretrievable.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of irretrievable

1702, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of irretrievable was in 1702

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Last Updated

7 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Irretrievable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for irretrievable


ir·​re·​triev·​able | \ ˌir-i-ˈtrē-və-bəl How to pronounce irretrievable (audio) \

Kids Definition of irretrievable

: impossible to get back The lost data is irretrievable.

Other Words from irretrievable

irretrievably \ -​blē \ adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on irretrievable

Nglish: Translation of irretrievable for Spanish Speakers


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