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See more synonyms for irresponsible on Thesaurus.com
  1. said, done, or characterized by a lack of a sense of responsibility: His refusal to work shows him to be completely irresponsible.
  2. not capable of or qualified for responsibility, as due to age, circumstances, or a mental deficiency.
  3. not responsible, answerable, or accountable to higher authority: irresponsible as a monarch.
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  1. an irresponsible person.
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Origin of irresponsible

First recorded in 1640–50; ir-2 + responsible
Related formsir·re·spon·si·bil·i·ty, ir·re·spon·si·ble·ness, nounir·re·spon·si·bly, adverb

Synonyms for irresponsible

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for irresponsibility

madness, craziness, absurdity, folly, frenzy, alienation, dementia, lunacy, hysteria, irresponsibility, confusion, disorder, chaos, terrorism, irrationality, silliness, bunk, insanity, stupidity, rubbish

Examples from the Web for irresponsibility

Contemporary Examples of irresponsibility

Historical Examples of irresponsibility

  • A caterer's thrifty concession to the universal passion for irresponsibility.

  • Irresponsibility ran strongly in that branch of the Butler family.

    The Snare

    Rafael Sabatini

  • He had a gay sense of irresponsibility, of seeking the event.

    The Prisoner

    Alice Brown

  • At once, it seemed to me, he recognised the irresponsibility of his rider.

    Dwellers in the Hills

    Melville Davisson Post

  • It is a fine thing to get into the freedom and irresponsibility of a big city!

British Dictionary definitions for irresponsibility


  1. not showing or done with due care for the consequences of one's actions or attitudes; reckless
  2. not capable of bearing responsibility
  3. archaic not answerable to a higher authority for one's actions
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Derived Formsirresponsibility or irresponsibleness, nounirresponsibly, 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 irresponsibility


1818; see irresponsible + -ity.

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1640s, "not legally answerable for conduct or actions," from assimilated form of in- (1) "not, opposite of" + responsible. Meaning "not acting with a sense of responsibility" is from 1680s. Related: Irresponsibly.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper