Definition of Irish in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈīriSH/


Relating to Ireland, its people, or the Goidelic language traditionally and historically spoken there.
Example sentences
  • Either way, all Irish people spoken to yesterday were affected in some way by the atrocities.
  • Even more urgent was the need to find a response to Irish demands for independence.
  • The Irish criticism of the British position is not as strong as that of other countries.


1 (also Irish Gaelic) The Goidelic language that is the first official language of the Republic of Ireland.
Example sentences
  • Microsoft Office programmes such as Word and Excel will also be translated into Irish.
  • Irish is quite a different language and we require key documents translated into Irish.
  • Such an arrangement would address the practical modalities of translation for Irish.
2 (as plural noun the Irish) The people of Ireland; Irish people collectively.
Example sentences
  • A similar strategy was also employed against England's other national enemy, the Irish.
  • It also aided their hopes of assimilating the Irish in Scottish society and extending their own influence.
  • Traditionally, the British are great actors, as are the Scottish and the Irish.


get one's Irish up

Cause one to become angry: if someone tries to make me do something I don’t want to do, it gets my Irish up
More example sentences
  • Well in that case, here's something that might get your Irish up.
  • Fortunately or unfortunately, I got his Irish up when I compared his behavior to the tobacco company executives swearing that they had no idea that nicotine was addictive.
  • What gets my Irish up about all this of course is how he was attacked when he died.



Example sentences
  • John Hume's brain wave of issuing a certificate of Irishness to the millions of people around the world who claim Irish descent - at a price of course - is pretty ingenious.
  • The fact that ‘we’ were in their country for a few hundred years might be considered a good reason to be thoroughly well acquainted with ‘what Irishness is’.
  • And, in this regard, Harry believed that his Irishness was a help in befriending the Nigerians as it did not carry with it the colonial baggage of the former rulers.


Middle English: from Old English Īr- (stem of Īras 'the Irish' and Īrland 'Ireland', obscurely related to Hibernian) + -ish1.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: I·rish

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