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[ir-i-kuhv-er-uh-buh l] /ˌɪr ɪˈkʌv ər ə bəl/
incapable of being recovered or regained:
an irrecoverable debt.
unable to be remedied or rectified; irretrievable:
an irrecoverable loss.
Origin of irrecoverable
First recorded in 1530-40; ir-2 + recoverable
Related forms
irrecoverableness, noun
irrecoverably, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for irrecoverable
Historical Examples
  • I perceived that she was irrecoverable, and yet I stood watching, watching, watching!

    The Frozen Pirate W. Clark Russell
  • Its Pitt is irrecoverable; and it may long look for another such.

  • It was not what I had looked for; what I had looked for was in the irrecoverable past.

  • He quitted that scene in a state of grievous and irrecoverable depression.

    The Violin

    George Dubourg
  • It was as though a clock had struck, loud and inexorably, marking off some irrecoverable hour.

    Sanctuary Edith Wharton
  • The salt becomes indissoluble and the paprika is irrecoverable flotsam.

    The Main Chance Meredith Nicholson
  • The passion which she felt for Goldwin was an irrecoverable one.

    An Ambitious Woman Edgar Fawcett
  • It was like thinking on time, when the minute that now glides past is irrecoverable.

  • We follow it with our eyes as it floats from us—an irrecoverable delight.

    The Mayor of Troy

    Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch
  • Draxy was not wont to allude to the lost and irrecoverable joys.

    Saxe Holm's Stories Helen Hunt Jackson
British Dictionary definitions for irrecoverable


/ˌɪrɪˈkʌvərəbəl; -ˈkʌvrə-/
not able to be recovered or regained
not able to be remedied or rectified
Derived Forms
irrecoverableness, noun
irrecoverably, 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 irrecoverable

mid-15c., from Old French irrecovrable, from assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + recovrable (see recover). In same sense irrecuperable (from Late Latin irrecuperabilis) is from mid-14c. Related: Irrecoverably.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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