Byte of Prevention Blog

by Jay Reeves |

Is Irregardless an Actual Word?

Raise your hand if you think “irregardless” is a real word.

Okay, hands down. Now raise your hand if you think it’s not a real word. Finally, raise your hand if you couldn’t care less … or is it could care less?

 Congratulations if you voted in support of irregardless.

“It may not be a word that you like, or a word that you would use in a term paper, but irregardless certainly is a word,” according to Merriam-Webster. “We define irregardless as regardless. It has been in use for well over 200 years, employed by a large number of people across a wide geographic range and with a consistent meaning. That is why we, and well-nigh every other dictionary of modern English, define this word.”

But just because irregardless is a bona fide word doesn’t mean you should start peppering your correspondence and court filings with it. Merriam-Webster says acknowledging the word’s existence isn’t the same as endorsing its use.

“Many people find irregardless to be a nonsensical word, as the ir- prefix usually functions to indicates negation; however, in this case it appears to function as an intensifier. Similar ir- words, while rare, do exist in English [irremediless (remediless), irrelentlessly (relentlessly)]. We label irregardless as nonstandard rather than slang.”

Two words that should be in your vocabulary are Lawyers Mutual. Here’s another one: continuous. Since 1977, we’ve been the only insurance company to provide continuous malpractice coverage for North Carolina lawyers.


Take This Synonym Quiz

Which is a synonym of fuliginous?

  1. murky
  2. archaic
  3. joyous
  4. cavernous


Which is a synonym of dilatory?

  1. pleasant
  2. expansive
  3. tardy
  4. inclusive


Which is a synonym of fugacious?

  1. contagious
  2. curative
  3. evanescent
  4. unappealing


Which is a synonym of peregrinate?

  1. annul
  2. traverse
  3. undulate
  4. cajole


Which is a synonym of celerity?

  1. dignity
  2. quiddity
  3. rapidity
  4. heredity


What is the definition of benedict?

  1. one who administers the rules of a game
  2. a dishonest practitioner of medicine
  3. conscious abandonment of allegiance
  4. a newly married man who has long been a bachelor


Which is a synonym of billingsgate?


  1. obligation
  2. overture
  3. adulations


Which is a synonym of nonesuch?

  1. precision
  2. paragon
  3. opacity
  4. insignificance


Which is a synonym of obloquy?

  1. prosperity
  2. requiem
  3. vitriol
  4. commitment


Which is the definition of longanimity?

  1. the act of sorrowing
  2. a disposition to bear injuries patiently
  3. a deceptive goal or hope
  4. deficient in clarity


Which is a synonym of glabrous?

  1. relaxed
  2. culpable
  3. harsh
  4. smooth


Which is a synonym of embonpoint?

  1. pertinence
  2. discord
  3. flawlessness
  4. plumpness


ANSWERS: 1, 3, 3, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 2, 4, 4

(Source: Merriam-Webster)


Jay Reeves is author of The Most Powerful Attorney in the World. He practiced law in North Carolina and South Carolina. Now he writes and speaks at CLEs, keynotes and in-firm presentations on lawyer professionalism and well-being. He runs Your Law Life LLC, which helps lawyers add purpose, profits and peace of mind to their practices. Contact or 919-619-2441.


About the Author

Jay Reeves

Jay Reeves practiced law in North Carolina and South Carolina. He was Legal Editor at Lawyers Weekly and Risk Manager at Lawyers Mutual. He is the author of The Most Powerful Attorney in the World, a collection of short stories from a law life well-lived, which as the seasons pass becomes less about law and liability and more about loss, love, longing, laughter and life's lasting luminescence.

Read More by Jay >

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