irreparable (adj.) Look up irreparable at
early 15c., from Old French irréparable (12c.), from Latin irreparabilis "irreparable, irrecoverable," from assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + reparabilis "that can be repaired" (see repair).
irreparably (adv.) Look up irreparably at
mid-15c., from irreparable + -ly (2).
irreplaceable (adj.) Look up irreplaceable at
1807, from assimilated form of in- (1) "not, opposite of" + replaceable. Related: Irreplaceably.
irreprehensible (adj.) Look up irreprehensible at
late 14c., from Late Latin irreprehensibilis, from assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + reprehens-, past participle stem of reprehendere (see reprehend).
irrepressible (adj.) Look up irrepressible at
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.
irreproachable (adj.) Look up irreproachable at
1630s, from French irréprochable (15c.), from assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + réprochable (see reproach). Related: Irreproachably.
irreputable (adj.) Look up irreputable at
1709, from assimilated form of in- (1) "not, opposite of" + reputable.
irresistible (adj.) Look up irresistible at
1590s, from Late Latin irresistibilis, from assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + resistere (see resist). Related: Irresistibly; irresistibility.
irresolute (adj.) Look up irresolute at
1570s, from Latin irresolutus, from assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + resolutus (see resolute). Related: Irresolutely.
irresolution (n.) Look up irresolution at
1590s, from French irrésolution (16c.), from ir-, assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + résolution (see resolution).
irresolvable (adj.) Look up irresolvable at
1650s, from ir- + resolvable. Related: Irresolvably.
irrespective (adj.) Look up irrespective at
1620s (implied in irrespectively), "disrespectful," from assimilated form of in- (1) "not, opposite of" + respective. Meaning "without taking account of (something)" is from 1690s. Main modern use is adverbial ("irrespective of"), attested from 1839.
irresponsibility (n.) Look up irresponsibility at
1818; see irresponsible + -ity.
irresponsible (adj.) Look up irresponsible at
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.
irretrievable (adj.) Look up irretrievable at
1690s (implied in irretrievably), from assimilated form of in- (1) "not, opposite of" + retrievable (see retrieve). Related: Irretrievably.
irreverence (n.) Look up irreverence at
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).
irreverent (adj.) Look up irreverent at
mid-15c., from Latin irreverentem (see irreverence). Related: Irreverently (early 15c.); irreverential.
irreversible (adj.) Look up irreversible at
1620s, from assimilated form of in- (1) "not, opposite of" + reversible. Related: Irreversibly.
irrevocable (adj.) Look up irrevocable at
also irrevokable, late 14c., from Latin irrevocabilis "that cannot be recalled, unalterable," from assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + revocabilis (see revoke). Related: Irrevocably.
irrigable (adj.) Look up irrigable at
1844, from stem of irrigate (v.) + -able.
irrigate (v.) Look up irrigate at
"supply land with water," 1610s, from Latin irrigatus, past participle of irrigare "lead water to, refresh, irrigate, flood," from assimilated form of in- "into, in, on, upon" (see in- (2)) + rigare "to water, to moisten," of uncertain origin, perhaps cognate with rain. Related: Irrigated; irrigating. In Middle English it was an adjective, "watered, flooded" (mid-15c.).
irrigation (n.) Look up irrigation at
"a supplying of water to land," 1610s, from Latin irrigationem (nominative irrigatio) "a watering," noun of action from past participle stem of irrigare (see irrigate).
irritability (n.) Look up irritability at
1755, from irritable + -ity.
irritable (adj.) Look up irritable at
1660s, from French irritable and directly from Latin irritabilis "easily excited," from irritare (see irritate). Related: Irritably.
irritant (adj.) Look up irritant at
1630s, from Latin irritantem (nominative irritans), present participle of irritare (see irritate). As a noun, from 1802.
irritate (v.) Look up irritate at
1530s, "stimulate to action, rouse, incite," from Latin irritatus, past participle of irritare "excite, provoke." An earlier verb form was irrite (mid-15c.), from Old French irriter. Meaning "annoy, make impatient" is from 1590s. Related: Irritated; irritating.
irritation (n.) Look up irritation at
early 15c., in reference to sores and morbid swelling, from Middle French irritation or directly from Latin irritationem (nominative irritatio) "incitement, irritation," noun of action from past participle stem of irritare (see irritate).
irrupt (v.) Look up irrupt at
"to break into," 1855, back-formation from irruption or else from Latin irruptus, past participle of irrumpere (see irruption).
irruption (n.) Look up irruption at
1570s, from Middle French irruption or directly from Latin irruptionem (nominative irruptio) "a breaking in, bursting in, invasion," noun of action from past participle stem of irrumpere, from assimilated form of in- "into, in, on, upon" (see in- (2)) + rumpere (see rupture (n.)). Frequently confused with eruption.
IRS Look up IRS at
also I.R.S., initialism (acronym) of Internal Revenue Service, U.S. federal government tax collection agency, attested by 1954. The office dates to 1862; name changed 1953 from Bureau of Internal Revenue.
Irwin Look up Irwin at
masc. proper name, Old English Eoforwine "boar-friend;" often confused with Irving, Irvin, which are from Irvine, Ayrshire, or Irving, Dumfries.
is (v.) Look up is at
third person singular present of be, Old English is, from Germanic stem *es- (cognates: Old High German, German, Gothic ist, Old Norse es, er), from PIE *es-ti- (cognates: Sanskrit asti, Greek esti, Latin est, Lithuanian esti, Old Church Slavonic jesti), from PIE root *es- "to be." Old English lost the final -t-. See be. Until 1500s, pronounced to rhyme with kiss. Phrase it is what it is, indicating resigned acceptance of an unpleasant but inevitable situation or circumstance about which nothing positive really can be said, is attested by 2001.
Isaac Look up Isaac at
masc. proper name, name of a biblical patriarch, from Late Latin, from Greek Isaak, from Hebrew Yitzhaq, literally "he laughs," imperf. of tzahaq "he laughed."
Isabel Look up Isabel at
fem. proper name, a form of Elizabeth that seems to have developed in Provence. A popular name in Middle Ages; pet forms included Ibb, Libbe, Nibb, Tibb, Bibby, and Ellice. The Spanish form was Isabella, which is attested as a color name ("greyish-yellow") from 1600; the Isabella who gave her name to it has not been identified. Related: Isabelline.
isagoge (n.) Look up isagoge at
1650s, from Latin isagoge, from Greek eisagoge "introduction (into court), importation (of goods)," from eis "into" + agoge "a leading," from agein "to lead" (see act). Related: Isagogic; isagogical (1520s).
Isaiah Look up Isaiah at
masc. proper name, name of a biblical prophet, from Hebrew Yesha'yah, abbreviated form of Yesha'yahu, literally "salvation of the Lord," from yesha, yeshua "salvation, deliverance."
ISBN Look up ISBN at
1969, acronym for International Standard Book Number.
Iscariot Look up Iscariot at
"traitor," 1640s, from the surname of Judas, betrayer of Jesus, in New Testament, from Latin Iscariota, from Greek Iskariotes, said to be from Hebrew ishq'riyoth "man of Kerioth" (a place in Palestine).
ischaemia (n.) Look up ischaemia at
also ischemia, 1866 (but as far back as 1660s in form ischaimes), from medical Latin ischaemia, from ischaemus "stopping blood," from Greek iskhaimos "stanching or stopping of blood," from iskhein "to hold" + haima "blood" (see -emia). Related: Ischemic.
ischium (n.) Look up ischium at
"the seat bone," 1640s, from Latin, from Greek iskhion "hip joint," in plural, "the hips," probably from iskhi "loin," of unknown origin.
ish kabibble Look up ish kabibble at
1913, "I should worry," of unknown origin, but perhaps derived from Yiddish nisht gefidlt. Said to have been popularized by comedienne Fanny Brice (1891-1951), but earliest references do not mention her.
"Chicken pox doesn't poison the wellsprings of one's existence like 'Ish kabibble,' and 'I should worry.!' Do you think it's any fun to bring up children to speak decent English, and then have their conversation strewed with phrases like that and with ain'ts? Do you think I like to hear Robert talking about his little friends as 'de guys' and 'de ginks?' [Mary Heaton Vorse, "Their Little Friends," in "Woman's Home Companion," February 1916]
Ishihara Look up Ishihara at
name for the popular type of colorblindness test, 1924, from Japanese ophthalmologist Shinobu Ishihara (1879-1963), who devised it in 1917.
Ishmael Look up Ishmael at
masc. proper name, biblical son of Abraham and Hagar, from Hebrew Yishma'el, literally "God hears," from yishma, imperf. of shama "he heard." The Arabs claim descent from him. Figurative sense of "an outcast," "whose hand is against every man, and every man's hand against him" is from Gen. xvi:12.
Ishtar Look up Ishtar at
ancient Sumero-Babylonian goddess of love and fertility, counterpart of Phoenician Astarte (q.v.), from Akkad. Ishtar.
Isidore Look up Isidore at
masc. proper name, from French, from Latin Isidorus, from Greek Isidoros, literally "gift of Isis," from doron "gift" (see date (n.1)). St. Isidore, archbishop of Seville (600-636) wrote important historical, etymological, and ecclesiastical works and in 2001 was named patron saint of computers, computer users, and the Internet.
isinglass (n.) Look up isinglass at
1520s, said to be perversion of Dutch huysenblas, literally "sturgeon bladder," from huysen "sturgeon" + blas "bladder;" so called because the substance was obtained from it.
Islam (n.) Look up Islam at
"religious system revealed by Muhammad," 1818, from Arabic islam, literally "submission" (to the will of God), from root of aslama "he resigned, he surrendered, he submitted," causative conjunction of salima "he was safe," and related to salam "peace."
... Islam is the only major religion, along with Buddhism (if we consider the name of the religion to come from Budd, the Divine Intellect, and not the Buddha), whose name is not related to a person or ethnic group, but to the central idea of the religion. ["The Heart of Islam: Enduring Values for Humanity," Seyyed Hossein Nasr, 2002]
Earlier English names for the faith include Mahometry (late 15c.), Muhammadism (1610s), Islamism (1747), and Ismaelism (c. 1600), which in part is from Ishmaelite, a name formerly given (especially by Jews) to Arabs, as descendants of Ishmael (q.v.), and in part from Arabic Ismailiy, name of the Shiite sect that after 765 C.E. followed the Imamship through descendants of Ismail (Arabic for Ishmael), eldest son of Jafar, the sixth Imam. The Ismailians were not numerous, but among them were the powerful Fatimid dynasty in Egypt and the Assassins, both of whom loomed large in European imagination.
Islamic (adj.) Look up Islamic at
1791, from Islam + -ic.
Islamist (n. Look up Islamist at
Islamist (n.) Look up Islamist at
"fundamentalist Sunni Muslim," 1855, from Islam + -ist. Islamism is attested from 1747 as "the religion of the Muslims, Islam."