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[ih-rev-er-uh ns] /ɪˈrɛv ər əns/
the quality of being irreverent; lack of reverence or respect.
an irreverent act or statement.
the condition of not being reverenced, venerated, respected, etc.
Origin of irreverence
First recorded in 1300-50; Middle English word from Latin word irreverentia. See ir-2, reverence Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for irreverence
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "Five of you, Janey," said the wit with a child's irreverence.

    A Little Girl in Old New York Amanda Millie Douglas
  • There was no irreverence in the exclamation that broke from the girl's lips.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • In his boyhood one gets a flavor of irreverence which was slow in disappearing.

    Benjamin Franklin John Torrey Morse, Jr.
  • To sell a church seems like the climax of irreverence; but they are doing as bad every day.

    The Christian Hall Caine
  • They were generally drunk and disorderly, and their rudeness, irreverence, and quarrels were a scandal to the solemn occasion.

    Pioneers and Founders Charlotte Mary Yonge
  • Her irony meant no irreverence but a vast derogation of Shad Wells.

    The Vagrant Duke George Gibbs
  • In short, as Little Billy put it, with a boy's irreverence, "Kitty rode herd on the professor."

    When A Man's A Man Harold Bell Wright
  • And then the vulgarity, the irreverence: they are almost identical, I think.

British Dictionary definitions for irreverence


/ɪˈrɛvərəns; ɪˈrɛvrəns/
lack of due respect or veneration; disrespect
a disrespectful remark or act
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 irreverence

mid-14c., from Latin irreverentia "want of reverence, disrespect," from irreverentem (nominative irreverens) "disrespectful, irreverent," from assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + reverens, present participle of revereri "to stand in awe of" (see revere).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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