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

At a public hearing in December 2018, parents and administrators from Duke Ellington explained how the public investigation caused irrevocable damage for students, parents, and the school. Jenn M. Jackson, Teen Vogue, "Access to Education for Black Children Proves Difficult for Their Parents, Creating a Disadvantage," 13 Mar. 2019 These irrevocable trusts are funded with assets that are then turned into a lifelong income stream for you and your spouse, or your beneficiaries. Karen Hube Of Barron’s, WSJ, "How to Leave Assets — With an Immediate Tax Write-Off —," 14 Dec. 2018 Crypto Baseball's blockchain approach, however, let the game's creators set actual, irrevocable hard limits. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "Ready to Pay $25,000 For a Digital Baseball Card?," 14 Aug. 2018 And in a 2015 interview with the Globe before he was sworn in, Baker affirmed that his no-new-taxes, no-new-fees pledge was an irrevocable promise — with one caveat. Joshua Miller And Matt Stout,, "After no new taxes pledge, Baker faces grand bargain bill — with an $800 million new tax," 26 June 2018 Season 2 of the series was particularly successful in mining the fear and paranoia of an America on the brink of irrevocable change. Lorraine Ali,, "Review: 'The Handmaid's Tale' Season 2 finale sets up a compelling new direction for the series," 11 July 2018 When LeBron James took his talents to South Beach, the damage to his image, and reputation at first seemed irrevocable. Nathaniel Friedman, GQ, "Kevin Durant Is in a Tricky Spot," 9 June 2018 Poland was grilled by its European Union colleagues over democratic values at an unprecedented hearing on Tuesday, just days before its latest court overhaul is set to make irrevocable changes to the justice system. Marek Strzelecki,, "EU Says Poland Must Do More to Quell Concern Over Court Revamps," 25 June 2018 These are ideas involving irrevocable choices, changes and that funny way that life has of making even great gains come with a loss. Mick Lasalle, Houston Chronicle, "Review: Nick Offerman and Kiersey Clemons in tune as dad-daughter songsters in ‘Hearts Beat Loud’," 20 June 2018

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

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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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