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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
  • Some environmentalists, fearing the projects will irretrievably damage a unique desert habitat, are opposing the facilities.
  • His sailors, meanwhile, feared that their ships would become irretrievably entangled in the stuff.
  • It is uncompromisingly and irretrievably difficult reading.
  • She is not about to take lessons from once rich western countries who have damaged themselves irretrievably.
  • Unlike many in the tech world, he's a quiet disrupter, sabotaging business models silently and irretrievably.
  • If you find this conceit irretrievably silly, the film is unlikely to persuade you otherwise.
  • He may discover, however, that the bureaucracy has irretrievably broken down.
  • All that they had possessed was irretrievably lost, and they had nothing to show for it.
  • The ties of respect and fondness and mutual vision that once bound a coach and his team are irretrievably gone.
  • There are countless ways a show can jump the shark and turn undeniably, irretrievably, tragically bad.
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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