View synonyms for irresponsible


[ ir-i-spon-suh-buhl ]


  1. said, done, or characterized by a lack of a sense of responsibility:

    His refusal to work shows him to be completely irresponsible.

    Synonyms: undependable, thoughtless, unreliable

  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.


  1. an irresponsible person.


/ ˌɪrɪˈspɒnsəbəl /


  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 Forms

  • ˌirreˈsponsibly, adverb
  • ˌirreˌsponsiˈbility, noun

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Other Words From

  • irre·sponsi·bili·ty irre·sponsi·ble·ness noun
  • irre·sponsi·bly adverb

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Word History and Origins

Origin of irresponsible1

First recorded in 1640–50; ir- 2 + responsible

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Example Sentences

At the time, baseball’s plan to return without bubbles opened with scores of positive tests and seemed risky if not irresponsible.

You know, we thought they were harming patients and irresponsible.

In the government, you have officials who can take irresponsible, populist views that they think the public wants to hear that are contrary, not only to morality and ethics, but also to public health interests.

With their well-being in mind, it would be irresponsible if I didn’t speak out about the climate crisis.

From Quartz

The time travel fantasy is pure escapism, which is to say it’s both optimistic and wholly irresponsible.

But what is there more irresponsible than playing with the fire of an imagined civil war in the France of today?

The most irresponsible comments however would have to be those of Donald Trump, since he should know better.

In this context, and at this time, the action by Neil MacGregor and his Trustees might seem not merely naïve, but irresponsible.

Conning people into buying a book to prepare for an "Ebola apocalypse" is not just irresponsible, it's pathetic.

“I think the attacks on Fareed are distorted, irresponsible, and unfair,” Weisberg emailed.

For days after I returned I wandered about out-of-doors in a gay irresponsible mood, and carolled all over the house.

Our friends would call you eminently 85 practical, I suppose, and the irresponsible lady sighed.

Drunkards are not frequent sights in the Quarter; and yet when these people do get drunk, they become as irresponsible as maniacs.

Something in the childlike attitude, the placid, irresponsible face, brought the old servant's impatience to a climax.

Irresponsible as he is, he must be allowed to move about without anything to distract his attention.


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