ir·​re·​spon·​si·​ble | \ ˌir-i-ˈspän(t)-sə-bəl How to pronounce irresponsible (audio) \

Definition of irresponsible

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: not responsible: such as
a : lacking a sense of responsibility
b : said or done with no sense of responsibility irresponsible accusations
c : unable especially mentally or financially to bear responsibility
d : not answerable to higher authority an irresponsible dictatorship



Definition of irresponsible (Entry 2 of 2)

: a person who is irresponsible

Other Words from irresponsible


irresponsibility \ ˌir-​i-​ˌspän(t)-​sə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce irresponsible (audio) \ noun
irresponsibleness \ ˌir-​i-​ˈspän(t)-​sə-​bəl-​nəs How to pronounce irresponsible (audio) \ noun
irresponsibly \ ˌir-​i-​ˈspän(t)-​sə-​blē How to pronounce irresponsible (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for irresponsible

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of irresponsible in a Sentence

Adjective He's too irresponsible to keep a job for more than a week. She made irresponsible comments that helped cause the riot. It would be irresponsible to ignore the threats.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective They were summoned by the foreign ministry, which called the statement irresponsible. Washington Post, 23 Oct. 2021 House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., called Republicans irresponsible for refusing to help cover spending approved during the Trump administration. Bart Jansen, USA TODAY, 22 Sep. 2021 The Drug Policy Alliance, a group that advocates for decriminalization and safe drug use policies, called the video irresponsible. CBS News, 11 Aug. 2021 Democrats have assailed the governor, calling him irresponsible and accusing him of trying to shift blame over the handling of the pandemic., 7 Aug. 2021 Democrats have assailed the governor, calling him irresponsible and accusing him of trying to shift blame over the handling of the pandemic. New York Times, 6 Aug. 2021 However, there are also significant downsides and difficulties that would be irresponsible to ignore, both in the global and the personal levels. Jennifer Sodini, Rolling Stone, 2 Nov. 2021 Sometimes irresponsible behavior and sometimes heroic behavior. David Marchese, New York Times, 1 Nov. 2021 And touting ivermectin as a response to covid is incredibly irresponsible. Washington Post, 20 Oct. 2021

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


1648, in the meaning defined above


1892, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for irresponsible

Time Traveler

The first known use of irresponsible was in 1648

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Dictionary Entries Near irresponsible

irrespective of



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Statistics for irresponsible

Last Updated

24 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Irresponsible.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for irresponsible



English Language Learners Definition of irresponsible

: not having or showing maturity or good judgment : not responsible


ir·​re·​spon·​si·​ble | \ ˌir-i-ˈspän-sə-bəl How to pronounce irresponsible (audio) \

Kids Definition of irresponsible

: having or showing little or no sense of responsibility You're too irresponsible for a pet.

Other Words from irresponsible

irresponsibly \ -​ˈspän-​sə-​blē \ adverb


ir·​re·​spon·​si·​ble | \ ˌir-i-ˈspän(t)-sə-bəl How to pronounce irresponsible (audio) \

Medical Definition of irresponsible

: not responsible : mentally inadequate to bear responsibility

Other Words from irresponsible

irresponsibility \ -​ˌspän(t)-​sə-​ˈbil-​ət-​ē How to pronounce irresponsible (audio) \ noun, plural irresponsibilities

More from Merriam-Webster on irresponsible

Nglish: Translation of irresponsible for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of irresponsible for Arabic Speakers


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