Definition of irreverent in English:



  • Showing a lack of respect for people or things that are generally taken seriously:

    ‘she is irreverent about the whole business of politics’
    • ‘Even the irreverent Campbell was praised for the respectful tone with which he responded to Hutton's questions.’
    • ‘Just as important, they are all bright and lively people and seem to blend a boundless enthusiasm with an irreverent sense of humour.’
    • ‘The Colorado Springs Independent is a breath of fresh, irreverent Rocky Mountain air.’
    • ‘Student films have a reputation of being somewhat obscure and irreverent, but nonetheless entertaining.’
    • ‘Although a talented reporter and a graceful writer, he lacks Brown's irreverent streak.’
    • ‘It's great theatre: it's irreverent, rude to the establishment and is prepared to take chances.’
    • ‘Mentioning our site shows remarkable taste and intelligence, as well as an irreverent sense of fun.’
    • ‘She is witty and frightening exposing hidden anxieties or dismissing them with slightly irreverent laughter.’
    • ‘Generations later, the stories are still as rude, irreverent and colourful as they were way back then.’
    • ‘The new arrival with an irreverent approach to the stuffy conventions and personnel of Parliament made an immediate impression.’
    • ‘Some have been irreverent, some subversive and some confrontational.’
    • ‘Part of being funny is being irreverent and saying things other people might think but won't say.’
    • ‘Still, as Stockwell lies low until the heat's off, his irreverent sense of humour will of course be missed in cabinet.’
    • ‘Abigail had a reputation for being a wild, irreverent and disrespectful young girl.’
    • ‘With his irreverent sense of humor and a PC that could handle the games, he fit right in.’
    • ‘It has everything the irreverent worshipper could ask for.’
    • ‘The girl and her clan's rescue quest is exciting, irreverent and touching, but most often hilarious, in this new paperback.’
    • ‘Sir Bob did talk the talk, however, and still no rock star talks with more humanity, irreverent humour, passion and compassion.’
    • ‘This lack of a proper, irreverent perspective doesn't have to get the better of you, though.’
    • ‘At this time of year, I hope it isn't irreverent to quote the Bible and say - I have kept all these things and pondered them in my heart!’
    disrespectful, disdainful, scornful, contemptuous, derisive, disparaging
    insolent, impudent, impertinent, cheeky, flippant, flip, insubordinate, presumptuous, forward
    rude, impolite, discourteous, uncivil, insulting, abusive
    fresh, lippy
    View synonyms


Late Middle English: from Latin irreverent- not revering, from in- not + reverent- revering (see reverent).