(usually initial capital letter) a member of an Italian association that became prominent in 1878, advocating the redemption, or the incorporation into Italy, of certain neighboring regions (Italia irredenta) having a primarily Italian population.
a member of a party in any country advocating the acquisition of some region included in another country by reason of cultural, historical, ethnic, racial, or other ties.


pertaining to or supporting such a party or its doctrine.

Nearby words

  1. irrecoverable,
  2. irrecusable,
  3. irredeemable,
  4. irredenta,
  5. irredentism,
  6. irreducible,
  7. irreducible hernia,
  8. irreflexive,
  9. irreformable,
  10. irrefragable

Origin of irredentist

1880–85; < Italian irredentista, equivalent to (Italia) irredent(a) (Italy) unredeemed (feminine of irredento, equivalent to ir- ir-2 + redento < Latin redemptus; see redemption) + -ista -ist

Related formsir·re·den·tism, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for irredentism

British Dictionary definitions for irredentism



a person who favours the acquisition of territory that once was part of his country or is considered to have been


of, relating to, or advocating this belief
Derived Formsirredentism, noun

Word Origin for irredentist

C19: from Italian irredentista, from the phrase Italia irredenta, literally: Italy unredeemed, from ir- in- 1 + redento redeemed, from Latin redemptus bought back; see redeem



(sometimes not capital) a member of an Italian association prominent in 1878 that sought to recover for Italy certain neighbouring regions (Italia irredenta) with a predominantly Italian population that were under foreign control
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 irredentism



1882, member of Italian political party which (after 1878) demanded the annexation of neighboring Italian-speaking regions (Trieste, S. Tyrol, Nice, Corsica, etc.), from Italian Irredentista, from (Italia) irredenta "unredeemed (Italy)." Related: Irredentism.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper