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

Those are the immortal final words of Caddyshack, the irreverent 1980 comedy that's become an endlessly quotable cult classic after bogeying at the box office. Patrick Ryan, USA TODAY, "'Caddyshack': 5 wild things we learn about the Bill Murray comedy in new tell-all book," 24 Apr. 2018 Tracee Ellis Ross is known for her dynamic, artfully irreverent approach to social media, serious fitness, and fashion alike. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "Tracee Ellis Ross Pulls Off a Shocking Beauty Risk on the Emmy Awards Red Carpet," 18 Sep. 2018 This feisty and delightfully irreverent memoir is a coming-of-age story for the over-60 set. Kathleen Hirsch,, "A portrait of the artist as an older woman," 29 June 2018 What used to be a home for funny, irreverent comedy and harmless gags gradually transformed into an unaccountable cesspool of toxic actors and bad-faith harassers. Bijan Stephen, The Verge, "Sweden’s official Twitter account will no longer be run by random Swedes," 5 Sep. 2018 Ezra is quippy and white; Chris (Phillip James Brannon) is dry and black; Pam (Cindy Cheung) is laconic and Asian-American; Jules (Dolly Wells) is irreverent and British. Jesse Green, New York Times, "Review: In ‘Log Cabin,’ It’s Gay vs. Trans as the Rainbow Crumbles," 25 June 2018 As the founder and captain of the ever-irreverent (and empowering) L.A. City Municipal Dance Squad, Trimbur is no stranger to spirit—or a want of camaraderie. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "This Los Angeles Dance Captain—And Breast Cancer Survivor—Has a Game Plan for Hair Loss and Chemotherapy," 11 Oct. 2018 The tour, which costs $49 or $59 depending on the city, is a little bit irreverent and 100 percent relevant in this broader moment when the patriarchy is getting the side eye. Kate Silver,, "To bring back visitors, museums are having to draw on their own creativity," 25 Apr. 2018 Our expert guide struck the perfect balance between staggering viticulture knowledge and an irreverent wit to lighten what can be a self-serious activity. Tyler Wetherall, Condé Nast Traveler, "Kent Is Poised to Be the U.K.'s Napa Valley," 14 Sep. 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

16 Feb 2019

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on irreverent

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Spanish Central: Translation of irreverent

Nglish: Translation of irreverent for Spanish Speakers

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