said, done, or characterized by a lack of a sense of responsibility: His refusal to work shows him to be completely irresponsible.
not capable of or qualified for responsibility, as due to age, circumstances, or a mental deficiency.
not responsible, answerable, or accountable to higher authority: irresponsible as a monarch.


an irresponsible person.

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for irresponsibly

Contemporary Examples of irresponsibly

Historical Examples of irresponsibly

  • Irresponsibly he repeated to himself, "All things come to them that wait."


    W. A. Fraser

  • He is so irresistibly, irresponsibly, recklessly indifferent.

    An Unoficial Patriot

    Helen Gardener

  • Now Fate was playing as wantonly, as irresponsibly, with him.

    Mortal Coils

    Aldous Huxley

  • It was almost pathetic that any one could so cheerfully and irresponsibly suggest the perpetration of a crime.

    A Reversible Santa Claus

    Meredith Nicholson

  • After the way the Grundy Projector had been thrust so irresponsibly upon us, no one wanted any further complications.

    In the Cards

    Alan Cogan

British Dictionary definitions for irresponsibly



not showing or done with due care for the consequences of one's actions or attitudes; reckless
not capable of bearing responsibility
archaic not answerable to a higher authority for one's actions
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 irresponsibly



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper