[ir-i-kuhv-er-uh-buh l]


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 formsir·re·cov·er·a·ble·ness, nounir·re·cov·er·a·bly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for irrecoverable

Historical Examples of irrecoverable

  • 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.


    Edith Wharton

British Dictionary definitions for irrecoverable



not able to be recovered or regained
not able to be remedied or rectified
Derived Formsirrecoverableness, nounirrecoverably, 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

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