Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
The Collaborative International Dictionary
Irrepressible \Ir`re*press"i*ble\, a.
Not capable of being repressed, restrained, or controlled;
as, irrepressible joy; an irrepressible conflict.
--W. H. Steward.
Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary
1767, from assimilated form of in- (1) "not, opposite of" + repressible (see repress).\n\nIncrease 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. \n
\nShall 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]\nRelated: Irrepressibly.
a. 1 Not containable or controllable. 2 (context of a person English) Especially high-spirited, outspoken, or insistent.
adj. impossible to repress or control; "an irrepressible chatterbox"; "uncontrollable laughter" [syn: uncontrollable]
Usage examples of "irrepressible".
She gave off the accumulated odours of libations, animal blood, kaoline, the irrepressible hopes of strangers, and a yellow impassivity.
As an added treat, Carr infuses this fun romance with a megadose of sidesplitting humor and irrepressible, eccentric secondary characters.
A guard with his sword on his hip pursues the irrepressible Nardo up and down the black curtain, seizes him by the scruff of the neck and slips his head through the noose.
The tiny fragile form, the slight limbs whose delicate proportions seemed to me almost those of infancy, their irrepressible quivering plainly revealed by the absence of robe and veil, no man worthy of the name could have beheld without intense compassion.
I said before, there ought not have been, and there did not necessarily result from our form of Government, any irrepressible conflict between the Slaveholding and the non-Slaveholding States.
But he was from the first an irrepressible individualist with a hatred of the arbitrariness of tsarist power.
By a judicious use of this Law of Nature, the Polygons and Circles are almost always able to stifle sedition in its very cradle, taking advantage of the irrepressible and boundless hopefulness of the human mind.
Congratulating himself that a handsome repast had been ordered that morning, feeling sure that it would be ready to the minute, and indulging in pleasant anticipations of the charming effect it would produce, when his pretty wife came running out to meet him, he escorted his friend to his mansion, with the irrepressible satisfaction of a young host and husband.
I listened to detect a woman's voice in the house, and filled the interim with wild regrets and dismal anticipations, which, at last, spoke audibly in irrepressible sighing and weeping.
To carnies the last night of a stand is "slough night," and they look forward to it because there is an irrepressible Gypsy spirit in all of them.
There was Mom, irrepressible Morn, clowning on the back porch in a shabby old plaid parka of Mike's, gripping a thick five-foot stalactite icicle descending from the roof, grinning at the camera.
All sorts of vengeful thoughts went through my mind as I saw them leaning toward each other to say something, and then drawing apart to laugh in what seemed an indefinite comradery instead of an irrepressible passion.
It was often Tungata who led the long rambling discussions at the fireside, and that irrepressible sense of humour that Craig remembered so well from the old days began to break through the sombre moods that had at first overwhelmed him.
His slightly drawling voice fascinated her--his audacious, often witty way of putting things, and the irrepressible bubble of laughter that would keep breaking from him.
The cousin of Iron-grip, Bull-neck, and Fleet-foot had grey hair by now, but there was still an irrepressible quality of youth about him.