ir·​rev·​o·​ca·​ble | \ i-ˈre-və-kə-bəl How to pronounce irrevocable (audio) , ˌi(r)-, sometimes ˌir-(r)ə-ˈvō-kə- How to pronounce irrevocable (audio) \

Definition of irrevocable

: not possible to revoke : unalterable an irrevocable decision

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Other Words from irrevocable

irrevocability \ i-​ˌre-​və-​kə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce irrevocability (audio) , ˌir-​(r)ə-​ˌvō-​kə-​ \ noun
irrevocableness \ i-​ˈre-​və-​kə-​bəl-​nəs How to pronounce irrevocableness (audio) , ˌir-​(r)ə-​ˈvō-​kə-​ \ noun
irrevocably \ i-​ˈre-​və-​kə-​blē How to pronounce irrevocably (audio) , ˌi(r)-​ , sometimes  ˌir-​(r)ə-​ˈvō-​kə-​ \ adverb

Irrevocable and Trusts

Irrevocable has a formal sound to it and is often used in legal contexts. Irrevocable trusts are trust funds that cannot be dissolved by the people who created them (the other kind is a revocable trust). An irrevocable credit is an absolute obligation from a bank to provide credit to a customer. Irrevocable gifts, under U.S. tax law, are gifts that are given by one living person to another and can't be reclaimed by the giver. But the word isn't always legal; we've all had to make irrevocable decisions, decisions that commit us absolutely to something.

Examples of irrevocable in a Sentence

She has made an irrevocable decision.
Recent Examples on the Web Fashionopolis is primarily a Marley’s Ghost–style warning of the irrevocable destructions to come. Cintra Wilson, The New York Review of Books, "Waste Not, Shop Not," 11 Feb. 2020 However, in order to operate the application, users must provide the company full and irrevocable access to their personal photos and data. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "As Russian “FaceApp” gobbles up user photos, Schumer asks FBI to investigate," 18 July 2019 The oversight board, which will be funded for six years by an irrevocable $130-million donation from Facebook, likely will be called on to examine the toughest issues. Jessica Guynn, USA TODAY, "This is how you will appeal to Facebook's 'Supreme Court' when your post is taken down," 28 Jan. 2020 Those working in this instant bureaucracy will not be paid directly by Facebook but by the separate trust that the company has created, funded by an irrevocable $130 million grant. Steven Levy, Wired, "Why Mark Zuckerberg’s Oversight Board May Kill His Political Ad Policy," 28 Jan. 2020 The funds raised will be transferred to an irrevocable trust to help Roundtree’s family pay for medical costs. Shannon Ryan,, "Illinois raising funds for Bobby Roundtree, the star defensive end injured in a swimming accident," 31 Oct. 2019 In the past, part of a living trust often became irrevocable when one spouse died. Liz Weston |, oregonlive, "Liz Weston: Sister withholding information on deceased father’s living trust," 27 Oct. 2019 Ownership categories include single accounts, joint accounts, certain retirement accounts such as IRAs, revocable trust accounts and irrevocable trust accounts, among others. Liz Weston, oregonlive, "Liz Weston: Donating to charities? One big gift helps more than several small ones," 4 Jan. 2020 And more radical ideas — like an outright ban on jailhouse informants in capital cases — have stalled, allowing prosecutors to continue using snitch testimony to secure the starkest, most irrevocable punishment. Pamela Colloff, ProPublica, "He’s a Liar, a Con Artist and a Snitch. His Testimony Could Soon Send a Man to His Death.," 4 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'irrevocable.' 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 irrevocable

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for irrevocable

Middle English, from Latin irrevocabilis, from in- + revocabilis revocable

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Time Traveler for irrevocable

Time Traveler

The first known use of irrevocable was in the 14th century

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Statistics for irrevocable

Last Updated

18 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Irrevocable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for irrevocable


How to pronounce irrevocable (audio) How to pronounce irrevocable (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of irrevocable

formal : not capable of being changed : impossible to revoke


ir·​rev·​o·​ca·​ble | \ i-ˈre-və-kə-bəl How to pronounce irrevocable (audio) \

Kids Definition of irrevocable

: impossible to take away or undo an irrevocable decision

Other Words from irrevocable

irrevocably \ -​blē \ adverb


ir·​rev·​o·​ca·​ble | \ ir-ˈre-və-kə-bəl How to pronounce irrevocable (audio) \

Legal Definition of irrevocable

: not capable of being revoked the offer was irrevocable for ten days

Other Words from irrevocable

irrevocability noun
irrevocably adverb

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