ir·​re·​vers·​ible | \ ˌir-i-ˈvər-sə-bəl How to pronounce irreversible (audio) \

Definition of irreversible

: not reversible

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from irreversible

irreversibility \ ˌir-​i-​ˌvər-​sə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce irreversibility (audio) \ noun
irreversibly \ ˌir-​i-​ˈvər-​sə-​blē How to pronounce irreversibly (audio) \ 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 Until the plutocrats who own the fashion industry volunteer to earn less money, the environment will continue to suffer egregious and irreversible damage. Cintra Wilson, The New York Review of Books, "Waste Not, Shop Not," 11 Feb. 2020 Researchers have used the IceBridge data to observe that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet may be in a state of irreversible decline directly contributing to rising sea levels. Taylor Kate Brown,, "Bay Briefing: Coronavirus — what Bay Area residents need to know," 28 Jan. 2020 If accidentally inhaled, roundworm infections can lead to irreversible brain, heart, or eye damage. Popular Science, "Eleven animals you can identify by their poop," 23 Jan. 2020 Researchers have warned that seas are warming and glaciers are melting at faster rates, potentially bringing the world closer to a cascade of tipping points or irreversible changes that would dramatically shift life on Earth., "The “100 percent renewables” bill the students support resembles legislation already passed in six other states, including New York and California. But in Massachusetts, a similar bill went nowhere last session and now remains in committee.," 7 Dec. 2019 In a picture captured by the photographer Rich Clarkson, the faces of the Kentucky players and coaches show a recognition of an irreversible change. The Atlantic, "What Is the Most Significant Sports Victory of All Time?," 8 Sep. 2019 This change in vision and values has brought irreversible changes in the understanding and practice of architecture today. Angela Serratore, Curbed, "The magical (postmodern) world of Disney," 17 July 2019 Abrupt, non- linear, irreversible changes are underway in the Arctic, Antarctica, Greenland and the world’s glaciers, which are crucial to food, water and agricultural production. Farhana Yamin, Time, "This Is the Only Way to Tackle the Climate Emergency," 14 June 2019 But its urgency as an issue relies on fears about irreversible cultural change — that continuing to grant birthright citizenship will result in the loss of something irreducibly American. Dara Lind, Vox, "Birthright citizenship, explained: why some on the right want to end it, and what they get wrong," 23 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'irreversible.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of irreversible

1630, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about irreversible

Time Traveler for irreversible

Time Traveler

The first known use of irreversible was in 1630

See more words from the same year

Statistics for irreversible

Last Updated

17 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Irreversible.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for irreversible


How to pronounce irreversible (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of irreversible

somewhat formal : impossible to change back to a previous condition or state


ir·​re·​vers·​i·​ble | \ ˌir-i-ˈvər-sə-bəl How to pronounce irreversible (audio) \

Kids Definition of irreversible

: impossible to change back to a previous condition : impossible to reverse irreversible harm


ir·​re·​vers·​ible | \ ˌir-i-ˈvər-sə-bəl How to pronounce irreversible (audio) \

Medical Definition of irreversible

: 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

Other Words from irreversible

irreversibility \ -​ˌvər-​sə-​ˈbil-​ət-​ē How to pronounce irreversibility (audio) \ noun, plural irreversibilities
irreversibly \ -​ˈvər-​sə-​blē How to pronounce irreversibly (audio) \ adverb

Keep scrolling for more


ir·​re·​ver·​si·​ble | \ ˌir-rə-ˈvər-sə-bəl How to pronounce irreversible (audio) \

Legal Definition of irreversible

: not reversible an irreversible decision

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on irreversible

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!