ir·​rev·​er·​ent i-ˈre-v(ə-)rənt How to pronounce irreverent (audio)
: lacking proper respect or seriousness
also : satiric
irreverently adverb

Examples of irreverent in a Sentence

He has a delightfully irreverent sense of humor. irreverent behavior during church services
Recent Examples on the Web Perhaps the best way to describe it is a wonderful crucible of creative energy, fusing different art forms in a celebratory, witty and irreverent manner. Hayley Maitland, Vogue, 14 Sep. 2023 During the band's first US tour, 4th June 1964 (Photo by Daily Mirror/Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images) SPIN is bringing conversation-starting and often controversial and irreverent music lists to television. Marisa Whitaker, Spin, 13 Sep. 2023 That, and the ability to take his work seriously — even at its most lighthearted and irreverent — without taking himself too seriously. George Varga, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2 Sep. 2023 Known as vociferous and irreverent, Mr. Spicer favored safari suits and Panama hats while working as an editor in Ottawa (where the average low temperature ranges from 6 degrees Fahrenheit in January to 60 in July). Sam Roberts,, 1 Sep. 2023 Mike Sutton Technical Editor Mike Sutton is an editor, writer, test driver, and general car nerd who has contributed to Car and Driver's reverent and irreverent passion for the automobile since 2008. Mike Sutton, Car and Driver, 18 Aug. 2023 Nobody told Huggins to go on a notoriously irreverent Cincinnati radio show May 8 and make homophobic comments that put him on the razor’s edge of losing his job. Dan Wolken, USA TODAY, 11 July 2023 The irreverent bilingual tale features Herbert Siguenza from the Chicano performance troupe Culture Clash as the lovelorn knight. Deborah Vankin, Los Angeles Times, 1 Sep. 2023 The result is a dynamic, diverse group of men that captures the irreverent, independent spirit of the brand. Ian Malone, Vogue, 25 Aug. 2023 See More

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

Word History


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

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near irreverent

Cite this Entry

“Irreverent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


ir·​rev·​er·​ent (ˈ)ir-ˈ(r)ev-(ə-)rənt How to pronounce irreverent (audio)
: showing lack of reverence
irreverent joking and giggling in church
irreverently adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on irreverent

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