irreversible

adjective
ir·​re·​vers·​ible | \ ˌir-i-ˈvər-sə-bəl \

Definition of irreversible

: not reversible

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from irreversible

irreversibility \ ˌir-​i-​ˌvər-​sə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē \ noun
irreversibly \ ˌir-​i-​ˈvər-​sə-​blē \ 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

In fact, no single country can make a significant enough impact to solve it before some of the impacts become irreversible. Emily Atkin, The New Republic, "The Global Crisis of Plastic Pollution," 16 Apr. 2018 Case and Deaton found that they are linked to frayed social and emotional support, which can cause serious and, in some cases irreversible, harm to people’s health. Clay Marsh, STAT, "Facing deaths of despair from the depths of despair in West Virginia," 12 July 2018 Like fashionable and tragic misdiagnoses of the past, this one comes with irreversible physical trauma. Abigail Shrier, WSJ, "When Your Daughter Defies Biology," 6 Jan. 2019 Now, investigators speculate the nose-down command could have been activated by an improper signal, adjusting the plane's trajectory into an irreversible dive into the ocean. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Boeing Reportedly Failed to Provide Key Safety Info to Pilots Before Lion Air Crash," 14 Nov. 2018 Record numbers of children have lead poisoning, which leads to irreversible health issues. Sarah Kunst, Marie Claire, "Gretchen Whitmer Is Ready for the Top Job," 7 Nov. 2018 In the meantime, a pill that medical experts say can cause diabetes, heart arrhythmia and potentially irreversible movement disorders continues to be prescribed to many Americans who are only seeking a good night’s sleep or less anxiety by day. Amy Ellis Nutt, Washington Post, "One of America’s most popular drugs — first aimed at schizophrenia — reveals the issues of ‘off-label’ use," 30 Mar. 2018 Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive condition that destroys a person’s memory and other important mental (and eventually physical) functions. Korin Miller, SELF, "10 Facts About Alzheimer's Disease You Should Know," 28 Sep. 2018 The magnitude of loss in the destruction of forests, wetlands, biodiversity losses, and ocean acidification are irreversible impacts of climate change and fossil fuel expansion. Maia Wikler, Teen Vogue, "12 Activists Blocked an Oil Tanker Transporting From the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline in Canada," 6 Sep. 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

Share irreversible

Statistics for irreversible

Last Updated

17 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for irreversible

The first known use of irreversible was in 1630

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for irreversible

irreversible

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of irreversible

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

irreversible

adjective
ir·​re·​vers·​i·​ble | \ ˌir-i-ˈvər-sə-bəl \

Kids Definition of irreversible

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

irreversible

adjective
ir·​re·​vers·​ible | \ ˌir-i-ˈvər-sə-bəl \

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 \ noun, plural -ties
irreversibly \ -​ˈvər-​sə-​blē \ adverb

Keep scrolling for more

irreversible

adjective
ir·​re·​ver·​si·​ble | \ ˌir-rə-ˈvər-sə-bəl \

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).

WORD OF THE DAY

to deny responsibility for

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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