Definition of irregular in English:


Line breaks: ir|regu|lar
Pronunciation: /ɪˈrɛgjʊlə


  • 2Contrary to the rules or to that which is normal or established: their involvement in irregular financial dealings
    More example sentences
    • However, this was found in contradiction of OUSU rules, necessitating an irregular by-election to be held via an extraordinary meeting of the Postgraduate Assembly.
    • Indicated if labour is established but the contractions are of irregular intensity or duration.
    • The gentle formality of the house contrasts strongly with its irregular context and neighbouring suburban dwellings, but it does have precedents in New Zealand.
    against the rules, contrary to the rules, out of order, improper, incorrect, illegitimate, unscrupulous, unethical, unprofessional; unofficial, back-door, grey; not done, unacceptable, wrong, beyond the pale, unorthodox, unconventional, off-centre, abnormal
    informal not on, a bit much, shady
    British informal a bit thick, off, not cricket
    Australian/New Zealand informal over the fence
  • 2.1(Of troops) not belonging to regular or established army units.
    More example sentences
    • As the theatre of war moved south, so did the smallpox, primarily affecting civilians, camp followers, and irregular troops in both armies.
    • Not only did he understand the new tactics, he was also able to put them into practice using a smaller army made up of irregular troops.
    • In fact, regular as well as irregular troops opposed the US in many of the conflicts Boot cites.
    guerrilla, underground; unofficial, paramilitary; resistance, partisan, mercenary
  • 3 Grammar (Of a verb or other word) having inflections that do not conform to the usual rules.
    More example sentences
    • The questions required knowledge of some words, but also of an irregular verb form and some grammatical terminology.
    • In some irregular verbs, these functions are served by different forms.
    • Note that ‘to spy’ is always an irregular verb, only the third person form resembles the infinitive.


(usually irregulars) Back to top  
  • 1A member of an irregular military force.
    More example sentences
    • The Filipino operational center of gravity was the ability to sustain its force of 100,000 irregulars in the field.
    • While repeating the Pentagon line that these irregulars were ‘forced to fight,’ Wallace acknowledged indirectly that the US military faces a hostile population.
    • Amitav Ghosh spent many weeks, at great personal risk, with the irregulars fighting the military regime in Burma.
    guerrilla, underground fighter; paramilitary; resistance fighter, partisan, mercenary
  • 2chiefly North American An imperfect piece of merchandise sold at a reduced price.



More example sentences
  • There are only steps at the very steepest points and even these are built irregularly and unevenly.
  • I breathed irregularly, occasionally hiccuping in my attempts to stop crying.
  • The windows are irregularly shaped and appear from the outside to be haphazardly placed.


late Middle English (in the sense 'not conforming to rule (especially that of the Church')): via Old French from medieval Latin irregularis, from in- 'not' + regularis (see regular).

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Word of the day coloratura
Pronunciation: ˌkələrəˈto͝orə
elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody