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[ir-i-tree-vuh-buh l] /ˌɪr ɪˈtri və bəl/
not retrievable; irrecoverable; irreparable.
Origin of irretrievable
1695-1705; ir-2 + retrievable
Related forms
irretrievability, irretrievableness, noun
irretrievably, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for irretrievable
  • To make a long story short, once the accusations were made the damage was irretrievable and took on a life of its own.
  • Once that intellectual property is disclosed, the loss will be irretrievable.
  • Whether it had been lost or destroyed, the cast seemed irretrievable.
  • If the trial court finds an irretrievable breakdown, the court must grant a dissolution.
  • The irretrievable commitment of resources means a loss of production, harvest, or use of natural resources for a finite period.
  • Irreconcilable differences have caused the irretrievable breakdown of your marriage.
  • Pending actions for divorce or separation are deemed to have been commenced on the basis of irretrievable breakdown.
  • Data stored in electronic format will be rendered irretrievable before computers are discarded or destroyed.
  • irretrievable breakdown of the marriage must be established before a court decree nisi of divorce can be issued.
British Dictionary definitions for irretrievable


not able to be retrieved, recovered, or repaired
Derived Forms
irretrievability, irretrievableness, noun
irretrievably, 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 irretrievable

1690s (implied in irretrievably), from assimilated form of in- (1) "not, opposite of" + retrievable (see retrieve). Related: Irretrievably.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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