irruption

noun ir·rup·tion \ i-ˈrəp-shən \
Updated on: 16 Nov 2017

Definition of irruption

plural irruptions
: an act or instance of irrupting: such as
a : a sudden, violent, or forcible entry : a rushing or bursting in
  • …the assassination still feels like a primal catastrophe—an irruption of inexplicable evil as horrifying as any supernatural bogeyman.
  • —Ross Douthat
b : a sudden and violent invasion
  • …begins not with Hitler's attack on Poland, but with the Japanese irruption into Outer Mongolia in July 1939…
  • —John Gooch
c ecology : a sudden sharp increase in the relative numbers of a natural population usually associated with favorable alteration of the environment
  • The owl's appearance came during an irruption, a huge southward migration of snowy owls from their arctic territories that, this year, followed a successful breeding period.
  • —Scott Carroll

Recent Examples of irruption from the Web

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

First Known Use of irruption

circa 1540


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