irreversible

adjective

ir·​re·​vers·​ible ˌir-i-ˈvər-sə-bəl How to pronounce irreversible (audio)
: not reversible
irreversibility noun
irreversibly adverb

Examples of irreversible in a Sentence

He suffered an irreversible loss of vision. The crisis has done irreversible harm to the countries' relations.
Recent Examples on the Web Lead is a neurotoxin that can cause irreversible damage to the nervous system and the brain. Coral Davenport, New York Times, 30 Nov. 2023 Recognizing that the most severe membrane fouling occurs within the pores, our membranes ensure that the entire pore architecture is immune to irreversible fouling, not just the exterior surface. Jeff Kart, Forbes, 30 Nov. 2023 These cases suggest that Alzheimer’s patients with serious ARIA may experience a significant and irreversible worsening of their memory and functional abilities. Madhav Thambisetty, STAT, 28 Nov. 2023 Scientists fear that, if temperatures rise beyond that, the planet could reach irreversible tipping points. Jessica F. Green, Foreign Affairs, 20 Nov. 2023 For example, evidence is mounting that continued deforestation of the Amazon could trigger a change in regional precipitation patterns, and in turn, an irreversible conversion of the rainforest into savannah with a massive release of carbon into the atmosphere. Bygabriel Labbate, Fortune, 16 Nov. 2023 Students suffered irreversible learning losses, with many exiting the public-school system altogether. M. Anthony Mills, National Review, 5 Nov. 2023 The authorities are scrambling to undo what experts have said is an irreversible trend, trying one initiative after another, such as cash handouts and tax benefits to encourage more births. Alexandra Stevenson, New York Times, 2 Nov. 2023 One common theme that has emerged is the need for a framework within which to make decisions about facilitating the migration of plants and animals, not least because the unintended consequences could be irreversible and dire. Moises Velasquez-Manoff, New York Times, 25 Oct. 2023 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1630, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of irreversible was in 1630

Dictionary Entries Near irreversible

Cite this Entry

“Irreversible.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/irreversible. Accessed 6 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition

irreversible

adjective
ir·​re·​vers·​ible ˌir-i-ˈvər-sə-bəl How to pronounce irreversible (audio)
: impossible to reverse
an irreversible chemical reaction
irreversible damage
irreversibility noun
irreversibly adverb

Medical Definition

irreversible

adjective
ir·​re·​vers·​ible ˌir-i-ˈvər-sə-bəl How to pronounce irreversible (audio)
: incapable of being reversed : not reversible
an irreversible medical procedure
: as
a
: impossible to make run or take place backward
irreversible chemical syntheses
b
of a colloid : incapable of undergoing transformation from sol to gel or vice versa
c
of a pathological process : of such severity that recovery is impossible
irreversible brain damage
irreversibility noun
plural irreversibilities
irreversibly adverb

Legal Definition

irreversible

adjective
ir·​re·​ver·​si·​ble ˌir-rə-ˈvər-sə-bəl How to pronounce irreversible (audio)
: not reversible
an irreversible decision

More from Merriam-Webster on irreversible

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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