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[ir-i-spon-suh-buh l] /ˌɪr ɪˈspɒn sə bəl/
said, done, or characterized by a lack of a sense of responsibility:
His refusal to work shows him to be completely irresponsible.
not capable of or qualified for responsibility, as due to age, circumstances, or a mental deficiency.
not responsible, answerable, or accountable to higher authority:
irresponsible as a monarch.
an irresponsible person.
Origin of irresponsible
1640-50; ir-2 + responsible
Related forms
irresponsibility, irresponsibleness, noun
irresponsibly, adverb
1. unreliable, undependable, thoughtless. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for irresponsibly
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It was almost pathetic that any one could so cheerfully and irresponsibly suggest the perpetration of a crime.

    A Reversible Santa Claus Meredith Nicholson
  • The extremely severe English game laws hit most heavily what the highly reckless English romances praise most irresponsibly.

    Eugenics and Other Evils G. K. Chesterton
  • A word, too, in his ear; let him not use the universe quite so irresponsibly for a playground.

  • Woman is more intimately and irresponsibly a child of Nature than man.

  • But she could not brook the semblance of interference with her rule where she had reigned so long and irresponsibly.

    At Last Marion Harland
  • In his admirable school there is no painter one enjoys—pace Ruskin—more sociably and irresponsibly.

    Italian Hours Henry James
  • After the way the Grundy Projector had been thrust so irresponsibly upon us, no one wanted any further complications.

    In the Cards Alan Cogan
  • He laughed boyishly and irresponsibly, for he felt that Kelly had done him a service that day.

    Her Prairie Knight B.M. Sinclair, AKA B. M. Bower
British Dictionary definitions for irresponsibly


not showing or done with due care for the consequences of one's actions or attitudes; reckless
not capable of bearing responsibility
(archaic) not answerable to a higher authority for one's actions
Derived Forms
irresponsibility, irresponsibleness, noun
irresponsibly, 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 irresponsibly



1640s, "not legally answerable for conduct or actions," from assimilated form of in- (1) "not, opposite of" + responsible. Meaning "not acting with a sense of responsibility" is from 1680s. Related: Irresponsibly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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