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90s Slang You Should Know


[ir-i-pres-uh-buh l] /ˌɪr ɪˈprɛs ə bəl/
incapable of being repressed or restrained; uncontrollable:
irrepressible laughter.
Origin of irrepressible
First recorded in 1805-15; ir-2 + repressible
Related forms
irrepressibility, irrepressibleness, noun
irrepressibly, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for irrepressibly
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Though he spoke to few, he was at once, and irrepressibly, the friend of all.

    The Voice of the People Ellen Glasgow
  • At the end of this I came back, irrepressibly, to Mark Ambient.

  • She smiled a little, irrepressibly, as she clasped her girdle—she was wearing one of the old picture dresses—and went downstairs.

    The Wishing-Ring Man Margaret Widdemer
  • This note of the highhole is irrepressibly exuberant and ringing with energy.

    In the Open Stanton Davis Kirkham
  • At the dinner, deep in discussion with Mr. Wan, he had been surprised to find himself smiling at intervals, irrepressibly.

  • In her gaze was a mingled severity and softness and she smiled as if irrepressibly.

    Tante Anne Douglas Sedgwick
  • The old rascal was irrepressibly garrulous; but he was too sleepy to talk much more, and looked ruefully worn out.

    The Tenants of Malory Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
British Dictionary definitions for irrepressibly


not capable of being repressed, controlled, or restrained
Derived Forms
irrepressibility, irrepressibleness, noun
irrepressibly, 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 irrepressibly



1767, from assimilated form of in- (1) "not, opposite of" + repressible (see repress).

Increase of population, which is filling the States out to their very borders, together with a new and extended network of railroads and other avenues, and an internal commerce which daily becomes more intimate, is rapidly bringing the States into a higher and more perfect social unity or consolidation. Thus, these antagonistic systems are continually coming into closer contact, and collision results.

Shall I tell you what this collision means? They who think that it is accidental, unnecessary, the work of interested or fanatical agitators, and therefor ephemeral, mistake the case altogether. It is an irrepressible conflict between opposing and enduring forces, and it means that the United States must and will, sooner or later, become either entirely a slaveholding nation, or entirely a free-labor nation. [William H. Seward, speech at Rochester, N.Y., Oct. 2, 1858]
Related: Irrepressibly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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