Definition of irreconcilable in English:


Pronunciation /ɪˌrɛk(ə)nˈsʌɪləb(ə)l//ɪˈrɛk(ə)nsʌɪləb(ə)l/


  • 1(of ideas or statements) so different from each other that they cannot be made compatible.

    ‘these two views of the economy are irreconcilable’
    • ‘The court then on that material finds that he was not after all incapacitated and you have irreconcilable judgments of the court.’
    • ‘Of course, it may be foolish to assume that the two references to peace present an irreconcilable contradiction.’
    • ‘As idealizations, they appear to be predicated on normative but contradictory and ultimately irreconcilable understandings of excellence.’
    • ‘The claimant and the objectors proceeded before the inspector upon the common ground that the terms of the map and the statement were irreconcilable.’
    • ‘These are truly irreconcilable views, and how this is resolved will have major ramifications.’
    • ‘Submission and retreat are two different actions, possibly irreconcilable.’
    • ‘On both sides of this divide reign fundamentally different, perhaps irreconcilable visions of man.’
    • ‘There are still many questions on which the Democratic and Republican parties have fundamentally different outlooks and represent distinct and irreconcilable interpretations of the world.’
    • ‘That is where the problems start, with Tony Blair trying to find an illusory third way between two irreconcilable opinions.’
    • ‘Advertisers thus present two conflicting and irreconcilable claims about themselves.’
    • ‘Mr Justice Langley said the case had involved ‘conflicting and irreconcilable accounts of events’ decisive of the issues he had to decide.’
    • ‘The Democrats are caught in irreconcilable contradictions when they attempt to posture as critics of the war.’
    • ‘At the time Muggeridge declared that he ‘saw life as an eternal battle between two irreconcilable opposites, the world of the flesh and the world of the spirit’.’
    • ‘To us, all our different visions are irreconcilable.’
    • ‘This task involves the communication of at least two potentially contradictory, irreconcilable experiences for the director: the reader's and the writer's.’
    • ‘The actual market wage results from economic forces that turn these seemingly irreconcilable demands into a cooperative contract that benefits everyone.’
    • ‘The notion is irreconcilable to basic skeptic tenets.’
    • ‘She took those seemingly irreconcilable ideas and brought them together under a universal experience: rebellion.’
    • ‘Three people pursue with integrity their different and irreconcilable ideas of the good life, leading to unavoidable disaster.’
    • ‘So you can see I consider things and relations to be fundamentally different and irreconcilable.’
    incompatible, at odds, at variance, incongruous, conflicting, clashing, discordant, antagonistic, mutually exclusive
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    1. 1.1 Incapable of being resolved.
      ‘irreconcilable differences’
      • ‘I suspect, however, that many involved in this debate have very different numbers needed to test in mind, hence their apparently irreconcilable differences.’
      • ‘An irreconcilable difference is the basis of one type of grievance.’
      • ‘The petition filed in Los Angeles Superior Court seeks dissolution of the marriage based on irreconcilable differences.’
      • ‘That was when the seeds of irreconcilable discord were sown between the prime minister and his advisors and the Kargil generals led by General Musharraf.’
      • ‘And, conversely, the existence of the state proves that the class antagonisms are irreconcilable.’
      • ‘At some points, the irreconcilable differences revealed by the different exhibits actually fuel debate and provoke thought.’
      • ‘The Parliament Act is there to try and deal with irreconcilable differences between the two Houses and that happens very rarely.’
      • ‘The judge, passing sentence, said it was ‘a tragic story arising out of irreconcilable cultural differences between traditional Kurdish values and the values of Western society’.’
      • ‘Relations between Apple and Motorola may be strained, but that's no reason to assume that their differences are irreconcilable.’
      • ‘At other times, the children's comments suggest irreconcilable differences and utterly incommensurable world views.’
      • ‘In a normal year there need not be a dangerous conflict between these two but in a year such as this the conflict is irreconcilable.’
      • ‘If there were irreconcilable political differences then they should have agreed to an amicable parting of the ways after the next election.’
      • ‘Just as important, there was hardly any serious effort prior to 1860 to extend this historical antagonism into an irreconcilable conflict of race.’
      • ‘Is it an artificial structure imposed from Darwin on great and irreconcilable disparities or can it be a unity?’
      • ‘But the actor filed a divorce petition on Friday, citing irreconcilable differences.’
      • ‘There are, however, substantial and irreconcilable differences between Hilbert and Brouwer.’
      • ‘Vinnie Jones was originally earmarked to play the title role, but there were irreconcilable differences.’
      • ‘Recognise that your differences may be irreconcilable.’
      • ‘Most ex-jurors will probably tell you that the process can be either a model of harmonious decision making, or marked by irreconcilable differences of opinion.’
      • ‘The Communist Manifesto anticipated and predicted the irreconcilable conflict between the bourgeoisie and the working class.’
      completely different, as different as they could be, widely separated, directly opposed, antithetical, incompatible, miles apart, worlds apart, at opposite extremes, at opposite poles, like night and day
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    2. 1.2 (of people) implacably hostile to each other.
      ‘irreconcilable enemies’
      • ‘Yet despite this humiliation the senior magistrates remained in place, prime among them the first president, d' Aligre, by now Calonne's irreconcilable enemy.’
      • ‘Principals and unionized teachers are not irreconcilable enemies.’
      • ‘In the map of memory, a legacy of the Bible to western civilization, Israel and Egypt are irreconcilable enemies.’
      • ‘But in the realm of public debate, science and religion frequently seemed like irreconcilable enemies.’
      • ‘She is the natural ally of tyrants and the irreconcilable enemy of freedom.’
      implacable, unappeasable, uncompromising, inexorable, intransigent, inflexible, remorseless, relentless, unrelenting, hard-line
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usually irreconcilables
  • Any of two or more ideas or statements that cannot be made compatible.

    • ‘The man or woman does not exist who can unite the irreconcilables now trapped in this dying movement and lead it to victory.’
    • ‘This, ultimately, is a play about existential resemblances and contrasts, kinships and irreconcilables, uncomfortable truths and futile lies that underlie delicate relationships and unbridgeable chasms.’
    • ‘Somehow, such a rationale seems to me like an anodyne offered to those who seek an existence of painless acceptance rather than an endless quest to reconcile seeming irreconcilables.’
    • ‘The art of successful mainstream journalism is the art of reconciling these two irreconcilables without admitting the lie to conscious awareness.’
    • ‘The demon too is an object of worship - a tribute to the principle of devotion manifest as enmity, and a characteristically Indian paradigm seeking to reconcile irreconcilables.’