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irrelevant

[ih-rel-uh-vuh nt]
See more synonyms for irrelevant on Thesaurus.com
adjective
  1. not relevant; not applicable or pertinent: His lectures often stray to interesting but irrelevant subjects.
  2. Law. (of evidence) having no probative value upon any issue in the case.
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Origin of irrelevant

First recorded in 1780–90
Related formsir·rel·e·vant·ly, adverb

Pronunciation note

The pronunciation of irrelevant [ih-rel-uh-vuh nt] /ɪˈrɛl ə vənt/, as [ih-rev-uh-luh nt] /ɪˈrɛv ə lənt/, as if spelled irrevelant, is the result of metathesis, the transposition of two sounds, in this case, the [l] /l/ and the [v] /v/. Relevant, the base word, is occasionally subject to the same process. Analogy with words like prevalent and equivalent may play a role. A similar reordering of the [l] /l/ and [v] /v/ consonant sounds, althought not a strict one-to-one metathesis, can be heard for Calvary [kal-vuh-ree] /ˈkæl və ri/ when pronounced [kav-uh l-ree] /ˈkæv əl ri/. Here the transposition is reinforced by the existence of the familiar word cavalry.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


Examples from the Web for irrelevant

Contemporary Examples of irrelevant

Historical Examples of irrelevant

  • There followed a voluminous screed of irrelevant dissertation.

  • That remark was so irrelevant that one could make no answer to it.

    The Shadow-Line

    Joseph Conrad

  • That was the line of his argument, and it was irrelevant enough to be almost insulting.

    The Shadow-Line

    Joseph Conrad

  • Yet this discursiveness is not so irrelevant to the handful of pages which follow.

    Notes on My Books

    Joseph Conrad

  • You remind me of a passage in my story which I omitted, as irrelevant to the matter in hand.

    David Elginbrod

    George MacDonald


British Dictionary definitions for irrelevant

irrelevant

adjective
  1. not relating or pertinent to the matter at hand; not important
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Derived Formsirrelevance or irrelevancy, nounirrelevantly, 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 irrelevant

adj.

1680s, from assimilated form of in- (1) "not, opposite of" + relevant. Related: Irrelevantly.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper