ir·​rev·​er·​ent | \i-ˈrev-rənt, ˌi(r)-, -ˈre-və-;-ˈre-vərnt\

Definition of irreverent 

: lacking proper respect or seriousness also : satiric

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Other Words from irreverent

irreverently adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for irreverent


blasphemous, impious, profane, sacrilegious


pious, reverent

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Examples of irreverent in a Sentence

He has a delightfully irreverent sense of humor. irreverent behavior during church services

Recent Examples on the Web

The End of the F***ing World' (Netflix) Stylish, irreverent and darkly funny, this surprise British gem was one of Netflix's first shows of the year, and is one of its best. Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, "The 10 best TV shows of 2018 (so far)," 27 June 2018 Doubling, tripling, even quadrupling up on necklaces has looped back into vogue as an irreverent way to wear jewelry. Rebecca Malinsky, WSJ, "How to Layer Necklaces Like an Instagram Star," 5 July 2018 Greater Tuna is a hilarious and irreverent comedy about Texas' third smallest town, where the Lions club is too liberal and Patsy Cline never dies. Melinda Morris,, "Celebrate New Orleans' tricentennial with 'Gone Pecans': Rivertown announces 2018-19 season," 7 Jan. 2018 What McHugh favored was the fantastic, the caustic, the nakedly human, art with an irreverent or whimsical sense of humor, and art with little remove from raw physicality. Leah Ollman,, "This Candy Store wasn't a candy store: Remembering a California gallery that made art stars," 3 July 2018 Although the theme of family is at the center of Deadpool 2, director David Leitch assures that the sequel is still as crude, violent, and irreverent as its 2016 predecessor. Paul Chi, HWD, "Ryan Reynolds’s Surprise Inspiration for Deadpool 2: His Wife, Blake Lively," 15 May 2018 But there were disappointments too: stans for David Lynch’s bizarre Twin Peaks, Emilia Clarke’s fearsome turn in Game of Thrones or the irreverent Netflix true crime spoof American Vandal will certainly be disappointed. Eliana Dockterman, Time, "The Biggest Snubs and Surprises of the 2018 Emmy Nominations," 12 July 2018 Only Adler, known for his easy laughter and irreverent nature, can't help interjecting a good-natured dig at his former frontman. Gil Kaufman, Billboard, "Ex-Guns N' Roses Drummer Steven Adler on New Band With Constantine Maroulis: 'I'm Finally Working With a Real Superstar Again'," 23 Apr. 2018 Sometimes scabrous and always irreverent, his cartoons swipe gleefully at disability and other sensitive topics, piercing the movie’s one-day-at-a-time orthodoxy. Gus Van Sant, New York Times, "Review: Joaquin Phoenix Treks the Long Road to Sobriety in ‘Don’t Worry’," 11 July 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for irreverent

Middle English, from Latin irreverent-, irreverens, from in- + reverent-, reverens reverent

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Last Updated

9 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for irreverent

The first known use of irreverent was in the 15th century

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English Language Learners Definition of irreverent

: having or showing a lack of respect for someone or something that is usually treated with respect : treating someone or something in a way that is not serious or respectful


ir·​rev·​er·​ent | \i-ˈre-və-rənt \

Kids Definition of irreverent

: not respectful “It seems irreverent, like running in a church.”— Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea

Other Words from irreverent

irreverently adverb

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Spanish Central: Translation of irreverent

Nglish: Translation of irreverent for Spanish Speakers

Comments on irreverent

What made you want to look up irreverent? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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