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[ih-rev-er-uh nt] /ɪˈrɛv ər ənt/
not reverent; manifesting or characterized by irreverence; deficient in veneration or respect:
an irreverent reply.
Origin of irreverent
1485-95; < Latin irreverent- (stem of irreverēns) disrespectful. See ir-2, reverent
Related forms
irreverently, adverb
irreligious, impious, profane. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for irreverently
Historical Examples
  • "I thought Communion-tables were an Evangelical start," said Sally irreverently.

    Somehow Good William de Morgan
  • Nor was this all: she irreverently persisted in her old inquiry of “What is the Church?”

    Earl Hubert's Daughter Emily Sarah Holt
  • His ‘sweet Saviour,’ as he irreverently exclaims, has told him all.

    The London Pulpit J. Ewing Ritchie
  • If you knew Him at all, you would not talk of Him so irreverently.

    Imaginary Conversations and Poems Walter Savage Landor
  • "I hear we are going to make a pilgrimage when we get to Suez," said Sam irreverently.

  • This story, heartlessly and irreverently told, was the tragedy of my life!

  • I mention this, not irreverently, but to give you the best idea I can of the cemetery, from my own impressions.

    The South-West Joseph Holt Ingraham
  • And, irreverently, he was putting out a swollen tongue at his Managing Director.

    Tales of Unrest Joseph Conrad
  • “Some of those old buses look like ash-boxes,” interposed de Spain irreverently.

    Nan of Music Mountain Frank H. Spearman
  • The forests, irreverently called "bush," are beyond words for beauty.

    Recollections David Christie Murray
British Dictionary definitions for irreverently


/ɪˈrɛvərənt; ɪˈrɛvrənt/
without due respect or veneration; disrespectful; flippant
Derived Forms
irreverently, 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 irreverently



mid-15c., from Latin irreverentem (see irreverence). Related: Irreverently (early 15c.); irreverential.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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