"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[ir-i-pres-uh-buh l] /ˌɪr ɪˈprɛs ə bəl/
incapable of being repressed or restrained; uncontrollable:
irrepressible laughter.
Origin of irrepressible
1805-15; ir-2 + repressible
Related forms
irrepressibility, irrepressibleness, noun
irrepressibly, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for irrepressible
  • Her irrepressible optimism, sense of humor and vivacious personality have served her well in personal and professional life.
  • Yet the temptation to equate essayists with their essayistic selves is seemingly irrepressible.
  • All that said, no forecaster has yet benefited from predicting the irrepressible media tycoon's demise.
  • Everything else at this simple eight-room eco-retreat and bunkhouse follows in irrepressible green style.
  • Four irrepressible friends head out to sea in the latest installment in a first-reader series that has no equal.
  • Burke wants his talk with the irrepressible raconteur to take place as an actionless walkabout.
  • Her irrepressible spirit was infectious and brought joy to all who met her.
  • It was an unwelcome intrusion into investors' irrepressible optimism.
  • The seemingly irrepressible desire for global economic stability may itself fuel the cycle of crisis.
  • But it also turned him into an irrepressible optimist.
British Dictionary definitions for irrepressible


not capable of being repressed, controlled, or restrained
Derived Forms
irrepressibility, irrepressibleness, noun
irrepressibly, adverb
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 irrepressible

1767, from assimilated form of in- (1) "not, opposite of" + repressible (see repress).

Increase of population, which is filling the States out to their very borders, together with a new and extended network of railroads and other avenues, and an internal commerce which daily becomes more intimate, is rapidly bringing the States into a higher and more perfect social unity or consolidation. Thus, these antagonistic systems are continually coming into closer contact, and collision results.

Shall I tell you what this collision means? They who think that it is accidental, unnecessary, the work of interested or fanatical agitators, and therefor ephemeral, mistake the case altogether. It is an irrepressible conflict between opposing and enduring forces, and it means that the United States must and will, sooner or later, become either entirely a slaveholding nation, or entirely a free-labor nation. [William H. Seward, speech at Rochester, N.Y., Oct. 2, 1858]
Related: Irrepressibly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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