ir·​rev·​er·​ence | \ i-ˈrev-rən(t)s How to pronounce irreverence (audio) , ˌi(r)-, -ˈre-və-; -ˈre-vərn(t)s \

Definition of irreverence

1 : lack of reverence
2 : an irreverent act or utterance

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Examples of irreverence in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The first few days are mostly jokes and irreverence. New York Times, "CoLM toibin," 8 July 2020 The character could easily have come across as a spoiled brat in the early episodes, given that her learned defense mechanisms involve flippant irreverence and keeping people at a distance. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Review: Fierce and fun Warrior Nun is a perfect Fourth of July binge-watch," 3 July 2020 Told with Yates's characteristic irreverence and wit, interspersed with the words of others who were there, Cannonball! Colin Beresford, Car and Driver, "Eight Books Every Auto Enthusiast Should Read, and One for the Kids," 20 June 2020 Obé – pronounced 'obey' – has that sweet, sweaty irreverence of the coolest new (somewhat sadistic – in a good way) fitness clubs around. Jennifer Jolly, USA TODAY, "Don't have a Peloton budget? No sweat. You can still get a workout without hitting the gym," 8 June 2020 The traits that have made Twain abidingly popular — humor, irreverence, deep thinking about the nature and promise of the United States — shine from its pages. John J. Miller, National Review, "Mark Twain in the Time of Cholera," 16 Apr. 2020 The women generally are more memorable than the men, with some mild amusement generated by Pinto's withering scorn and Bea's salty irreverence. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Love Wedding Repeat': Film Review," 10 Apr. 2020 Jack Whitehall hosted the Brit Awards for the third straight year with typical irreverence, including extended banter with friendly stars Lizzo and Harry Styles -- both of whom also offered memorable performances in the evening's first hour. Andrew Unterberger, Billboard, "Dave & Lewis Capaldi Win Big, Billie Eilish Performs Bond Theme at 2020 Brit Awards," 18 Feb. 2020 The irreverence of Harrison Ford’s space cowboy, Han Solo, is sorely missed—especially by grown women in need of a reason to sit through this pricey toy store come to life. Alex Kane, USA TODAY, "How to watch Star Wars: The Phantom Menace," 12 Nov. 2019

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for irreverence

Time Traveler

The first known use of irreverence was in the 14th century

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Statistics for irreverence

Last Updated

18 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Irreverence.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for irreverence


ir·​rev·​er·​ence | \ i-ˈre-və-rəns How to pronounce irreverence (audio) \

Kids Definition of irreverence

: lack of respect

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More from Merriam-Webster on irreverence

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for irreverence

Spanish Central: Translation of irreverence

Nglish: Translation of irreverence for Spanish Speakers

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