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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from irrevocable

irrevocability \ i-​ˌre-​və-​kə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce irrevocable (audio) , ˌir-​(r)ə-​ˌvō-​kə-​ \ noun
irrevocableness \ i-​ˈre-​və-​kə-​bəl-​nəs How to pronounce irrevocable (audio) , ˌir-​(r)ə-​ˈvō-​kə-​ \ noun
irrevocably \ i-​ˈre-​və-​kə-​blē How to pronounce irrevocable (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 The 2009 Private Letter Ruling taught us that the IRS understands that a contributor could make a gift to an irrevocable trust that would benefit him/her if and when needed, but could still be off the table for creditor protection purposes. Alan Gassman, Forbes, 5 Oct. 2021 That is a tiny fraction of the income level at which the highest rates apply to individuals, e.g., the family members who may be beneficiaries of an irrevocable trust. Martin Shenkman, Forbes, 17 Sep. 2021 An irrevocable trust is more common than most people realize. Dallas News, 5 Sep. 2021 Hold off on making irrevocable changes and decisions. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, 30 July 2021 And if the idea of giving away those funds creates any fear of running out of money during the donor’s lifetime, remember that the gifts aren’t irrevocable and the assets can be withdrawn by the donors, if necessary. Eric Brotman, Forbes, 26 May 2021 Hopefully, the situation can be stabilized before any such irrevocable actions take place. David A. Andelman, CNN, 14 May 2021 That is the case for both your 401(k) and your irrevocable trust, but for different reasons. Dallas News, 22 Aug. 2021 Avoid signing contracts and delay making irrevocable decisions that might impact your material security. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, 6 Aug. 2021

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About irrevocable

Time Traveler for irrevocable

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near irrevocable




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for irrevocable

Last Updated

14 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Irrevocable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon
Seen & Heard
People are talking about

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for irrevocable



English Language Learners Definition of irrevocable

: 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


Test Your Vocabulary

Dog Words Quiz

  • shiba puppy more or less demanding cuddles
  • Which of the following animals has a dog in its etymology?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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