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irrelevant

[ih-rel-uh-vuh nt] /ɪˈrɛl ə vənt/
adjective
1.
not relevant; not applicable or pertinent:
His lectures often stray to interesting but irrelevant subjects.
2.
Law. (of evidence) having no probative value upon any issue in the case.
Origin of irrelevant
1780-1790
First recorded in 1780-90
Related forms
irrelevantly, adverb
Pronunciation note
The pronunciation of irrelevant
[ih-rel-uh-vuh nt] /ɪˈrɛl ə vənt/ (Show IPA)
as
[ih-rev-uh-luh nt] /ɪˈrɛv ə lənt/
as if spelled irrevelant, is the result of metathesis, the transposition of two sounds, in this case, the
[l] /l/
and the
[v] /v/
Relevant, the base word, is occasionally subject to the same process. Analogy with words like prevalent and equivalent may play a role. A similar reordering of the
[l] /l/
and
[v] /v/
consonant sounds, althought not a strict one-to-one metathesis, can be heard for Calvary
[kal-vuh-ree] /ˈkæl və ri/
when pronounced
[kav-uh l-ree] /ˈkæv əl ri/ .
Here the transposition is reinforced by the existence of the familiar word cavalry.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for irrelevant
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • There followed a voluminous screed of irrelevant dissertation.

  • That remark was so irrelevant that one could make no answer to it.

    The Shadow-Line Joseph Conrad
  • That was the line of his argument, and it was irrelevant enough to be almost insulting.

    The Shadow-Line Joseph Conrad
  • Yet this discursiveness is not so irrelevant to the handful of pages which follow.

    Notes on My Books Joseph Conrad
  • You remind me of a passage in my story which I omitted, as irrelevant to the matter in hand.

    David Elginbrod George MacDonald
British Dictionary definitions for irrelevant

irrelevant

/ɪˈrɛləvənt/
adjective
1.
not relating or pertinent to the matter at hand; not important
Derived Forms
irrelevance, irrelevancy, noun
irrelevantly, 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 irrelevant
adj.

1680s, from assimilated form of in- (1) "not, opposite of" + relevant. Related: Irrelevantly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Nearby words for irrelevant

Word Value for irrelevant

13
16
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