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[ih-ras-uh-buh l] /ɪˈræs ə bəl/
easily provoked to anger; very irritable:
an irascible old man.
characterized or produced by anger:
an irascible response.
Origin of irascible
1350-1400; Middle English irascibel < Late Latin īrāscibilis, equivalent to Latin īrāsc- (stem of īrāscī to grow angry; equivalent to īr(a) ire + -ā- theme vowel + -sc- inchoative suffix + infinitive ending; see -esce) + -ibilis -ible
Related forms
irascibility, irascibleness, noun
irascibly, adverb
unirascibility, noun
unirascible, adjective
Can be confused
erasable, irascible.
1, 2. testy, touchy, peppery, choleric, short-tempered. See irritable.
1, 2. calm, even-tempered. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for irascible
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It is a wonder that irascible painters do not run amuck among their own canvases and their visitors on Show Sunday.

    Lost Leaders Andrew Lang
  • He pushed his hand through his hair with an irascible gesture.

    The Coast of Chance Esther Chamberlain
  • The silence seems to have stung this irascible and evil spirit: he returned again to the charge, with another poisoned weapon.

  • His name was Kara-Tete, meaning "the irascible" in the native tongue.

  • His temper was placable as well as irascible, and his reconciliations were cordial and sincere.

British Dictionary definitions for irascible


easily angered; irritable
showing irritability: an irascible action
Derived Forms
irascibility, irascibleness, noun
irascibly, adverb
Word Origin
C16: from Late Latin īrascibilis, from Latin īra anger
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for irascible

late 14c., from Middle French irascible (12c.) and directly from Late Latin irascibilis, from Latin irasci "be angry, be in a rage," from ira "anger" (see ire).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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