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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 irretrievably
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He pulled away the mans hands from the gaping neck-wound, whence the life was irretrievably spurting.

    Cursed George Allan England
  • The benches are buried as irretrievably as if they "had been carried into the midst of the sea."

    A Labrador Doctor Wilfred Thomason Grenfell
  • Killed himself when the Ming dynasty was irretrievably lost.

    Ti-Ping Tien-Kwoh Augustus F. Lindley
  • Pies and turnips were ruined as irretrievably as the turkey.

  • The blast struck him full in the face; he was terribly scorched, and his eyesight was irretrievably lost.

    Lives of the Engineers Samuel Smiles
British Dictionary definitions for irretrievably


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 irretrievably



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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