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[ir-i-spon-suh-buh l] /ˌɪr ɪˈspɒn sə bəl/
said, done, or characterized by a lack of a sense of responsibility:
His refusal to work shows him to be completely irresponsible.
not capable of or qualified for responsibility, as due to age, circumstances, or a mental deficiency.
not responsible, answerable, or accountable to higher authority:
irresponsible as a monarch.
an irresponsible person.
Origin of irresponsible
First recorded in 1640-50; ir-2 + responsible
Related forms
irresponsibility, irresponsibleness, noun
irresponsibly, adverb
1. unreliable, undependable, thoughtless. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for irresponsibly
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • irresponsibly he repeated to himself, "All things come to them that wait."

    Thoroughbreds W. A. Fraser
  • He is so irresistibly, irresponsibly, recklessly indifferent.

    An Unoficial Patriot Helen Gardener
  • Now Fate was playing as wantonly, as irresponsibly, with him.

    Mortal Coils Aldous Huxley
  • It was almost pathetic that any one could so cheerfully and irresponsibly suggest the perpetration of a crime.

    A Reversible Santa Claus Meredith Nicholson
  • After the way the Grundy Projector had been thrust so irresponsibly upon us, no one wanted any further complications.

    In the Cards Alan Cogan
  • It whirled and shot off at unexpected tangents and danced as irresponsibly as a grasshopper from one place to another.

    Her Father's Daughter Gene Stratton-Porter
  • The extremely severe English game laws hit most heavily what the highly reckless English romances praise most irresponsibly.

    Eugenics and Other Evils G. K. Chesterton
  • Woman is more intimately and irresponsibly a child of Nature than man.

British Dictionary definitions for irresponsibly


not showing or done with due care for the consequences of one's actions or attitudes; reckless
not capable of bearing responsibility
(archaic) not answerable to a higher authority for one's actions
Derived Forms
irresponsibility, irresponsibleness, noun
irresponsibly, 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 irresponsibly



1640s, "not legally answerable for conduct or actions," from assimilated form of in- (1) "not, opposite of" + responsible. Meaning "not acting with a sense of responsibility" is from 1680s. Related: Irresponsibly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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