Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

irrepressible

[ir-i-pres-uh-buh l]
See more synonyms for irrepressible on Thesaurus.com
adjective
  1. incapable of being repressed or restrained; uncontrollable: irrepressible laughter.
Show More

Origin of irrepressible

First recorded in 1805–15; ir-2 + repressible
Related formsir·re·press·i·bil·i·ty, ir·re·press·i·ble·ness, nounir·re·press·i·bly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for irrepressible

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples


British Dictionary definitions for irrepressible

irrepressible

adjective
  1. not capable of being repressed, controlled, or restrained
Show More
Derived Formsirrepressibility or irrepressibleness, nounirrepressibly, 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 irrepressible

adj.

1767, from assimilated form of in- (1) "not, opposite of" + repressible (see repress).

Increase of population, which is filling the States out to their very borders, together with a new and extended network of railroads and other avenues, and an internal commerce which daily becomes more intimate, is rapidly bringing the States into a higher and more perfect social unity or consolidation. Thus, these antagonistic systems are continually coming into closer contact, and collision results.

Shall I tell you what this collision means? They who think that it is accidental, unnecessary, the work of interested or fanatical agitators, and therefor ephemeral, mistake the case altogether. It is an irrepressible conflict between opposing and enduring forces, and it means that the United States must and will, sooner or later, become either entirely a slaveholding nation, or entirely a free-labor nation. [William H. Seward, speech at Rochester, N.Y., Oct. 2, 1858]

Related: Irrepressibly.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper