ir·​rev·​o·​ca·​ble i-ˈre-və-kə-bəl How to pronounce irrevocable (audio)
ˌir-(r)ə-ˈvō-kə- How to pronounce irrevocable (audio)
: not possible to revoke : unalterable
an irrevocable decision
i-ˌre-və-kə-ˈbi-lə-tē How to pronounce irrevocable (audio)
i-ˈre-və-kə-bəl-nəs How to pronounce irrevocable (audio)
i-ˈre-və-kə-blē How to pronounce irrevocable (audio)
 sometimes  ˌir-(r)ə-ˈvō-kə-

Did you know?

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 This departure from the IRS's previous stance on modifications of irrevocable trusts raises questions about the extent of this change. Matthew Erskine, Forbes, 16 Feb. 2024 Maybe green skin does paint you marginal in a deeper, more irrevocable way., 9 Oct. 2023 Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia has been developing a peace plan with other Arab states that would condition normalizing ties with Israel on the creation of an irrevocable path to a Palestinian state. Dalia Dassa Kaye, Foreign Affairs, 1 Feb. 2024 Although flexible when created, once set up, purpose trusts are irrevocable, meaning they cannot be changed once established. Matthew Erskine, Forbes, 13 Nov. 2023 For stuntman David Holmes, Harry Potter also changed his life — in equally irrevocable, yet more complicated ways. Alison Herman, Variety, 15 Nov. 2023 Chernoff said putting a player on irrevocable waivers so late in the season was an unusual move. Paul Hoynes, cleveland, 19 Sep. 2023 Despite the various names for trusts designed to meet specific needs, there are just two main types of trusts: revocable and irrevocable. Jim Farmer, Forbes, 19 Apr. 2023 The waivers are irrevocable, meaning a team putting a player on waivers automatically loses the player if he’s claimed. Terry Pluto, cleveland, 2 Sep. 2023 See More

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

Word History


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

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near irrevocable

Cite this Entry

“Irrevocable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


ir·​rev·​o·​ca·​ble (ˈ)ir-ˈ(r)ev-ə-kə-bəl How to pronounce irrevocable (audio)
: not capable of being revoked
an irrevocable decision
irrevocably adverb

Legal Definition


ir·​rev·​o·​ca·​ble ir-ˈre-və-kə-bəl How to pronounce irrevocable (audio)
: not capable of being revoked
the offer was irrevocable for ten days
irrevocability noun
irrevocably adverb
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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