[ih-rev-er-uh ns]


the quality of being irreverent; lack of reverence or respect.
an irreverent act or statement.
the condition of not being reverenced, venerated, respected, etc.

Origin of irreverence

First recorded in 1300–50; Middle English word from Latin word irreverentia. See ir-2, reverence Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for irreverence

Contemporary Examples of irreverence

Historical Examples of irreverence

  • There was no irreverence in the exclamation that broke from the girl's lips.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • To sell a church seems like the climax of irreverence; but they are doing as bad every day.

    The Christian

    Hall Caine

  • Her irony meant no irreverence but a vast derogation of Shad Wells.

    The Vagrant Duke

    George Gibbs

  • "No, sir," said Tate, almost overpowered at the irreverence of his questioner.

  • There will be irreverence no longer, because I will not allow it.

British Dictionary definitions for irreverence



lack of due respect or veneration; disrespect
a disrespectful remark or act
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 irreverence

mid-14c., from Latin irreverentia "want of reverence, disrespect," from irreverentem (nominative irreverens) "disrespectful, irreverent," from assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + reverens, present participle of revereri "to stand in awe of" (see revere).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper