American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- adj. Contrary to rule, accepted order, or general practice: irregular hiring practices.
- adj. Not conforming to legality, moral law, or social convention: an irregular marriage.
- adj. Not straight, uniform, or symmetrical: irregular facial features.
- adj. Of uneven rate, occurrence, or duration: an irregular heartbeat.
- adj. Deviating from a type; atypical.
- adj. Botany Having differing floral parts, as of a zygomorphic or asymmetrical flower.
- adj. Falling below the manufacturer's standard or usual specifications; imperfect.
- adj. Grammar Departing from the usual pattern of inflection, derivation, or word formation, as the present forms of the verb be or the plural noun children.
- adj. Not belonging to a permanent, organized military force: irregular troops.
- n. One, such as an item of merchandise, that is irregular.
- n. A soldier, such as a guerrilla, who is not a member of a regular military force.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Not regular; lacking regularity or method in some respect; not conformable to rule, order, symmetry, uniformity, or a fixed principle; deviating from the normal or usual course or state; devious; unmethodical; uneven: as, an irregular figure, outline, or surface; irregular verbs; irregular troops.
- Not regular in action or method; not conformed or conforming to regular rules or principles; hence, disorderly; lawless; improper: as, he is given to irregular courses.
- Specifically In human anatomy, being of no determinate shape, as a vertebra: said only of bones. Bones were formerly classed unnaturally in four categories, long, short, flat, and irregular. Most bones fall in the last-named category.
- In zoology: Not having a definite form; bilaterally or radially unsymmetrical; not having the form usual in a group; differing in an unusual manner from neighboring parts: as, an irregular third joint of an insect's antenna.
- Not arranged in a definite manner, or varying in position or direction: as, irregular marks (that is, marks varying in size or distance from one another); irregular punctures or striæ.
- In echinoderms, not exhibiting radial symmetry; exocyclic or petalostichous; spatangoid or clypeastroid: specifically said of the heart-urchins and other sea-urchins of the division Irregularia. See cut under petalostichous.
- In botany, not having all the members of the same part alike: said of flowers. An irregular flower is one in which the members of some or all of its floral circles—for example, petals—differ from one another in size, shape, or extent of union, as in the bean, the violet, and the larkspur. The term is also used less specifically, and is often not discriminated from
- n. One who is not subject or does not conform to established regulations; especially, a soldier who is not in regular service, or a person practising medicine without belonging to the regular profession.
- adj. Nonstandard; not conforming to rules or expectations.
- adj. Of a surface, rough.
- n. A soldier who is not a member of an official military force and, often, does not follow regular army tactics.
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. Not regular; not conforming to a law, method, or usage recognized as the general rule; not according to common form; not conformable to nature, to the rules of moral rectitude, or to established principles; not normal; unnatural; immethodical; unsymmetrical; erratic; no straight; not uniform
- n. One who is not regular; especially, a soldier not in regular service.
- adj. independent in behavior or thought
- adj. (used of the military) not belonging to or engaged in by regular army forces
- adj. lacking continuity or regularity
- adj. falling below the manufacturer's standard
- adj. (of solids) not having clear dimensions that can be measured; volume must be determined with the principle of liquid displacement
- adj. (of a surface or shape); not level or flat or symmetrical
- n. a member of an irregular armed force that fights a stronger force by sabotage and harassment
- adj. deviating from normal expectations; somewhat odd, strange, or abnormal
- adj. not occurring at expected times
- n. merchandise that has imperfections; usually sold at a reduced price without the brand name
- adj. contrary to rule or accepted order or general practice
- From Old French irreguler, from Medieval Latin irregularis, from in- + regularis. (Wiktionary)
“After a preliminary sniff she embarked upon a rapid lecture on what she called my irregular and untidy habits.”
“He did not think his soul lost by going to bed at dawn, for he liked to write at night; or by doing other things at what she called irregular hours; and he must have been at least astonished on hearing himself asked, three weeks after marriage, _when he intended giving up his versifying habits_?”
“The agency said Taylor Bean failed to disclose what it called irregular transactions that raised concerns of fraud.”
“Insurgents understand that political will is the critical vulnerability of the United States in irregular warfare.”
“Here and there, in irregular patches where the steep and the soil favored, wine grapes were growing.”
“A new Law of Migration Amnesty has been sanctioned by President Lula da Silva, allowing foreigners in irregular situations to apply for temporary residence permits and ultimately gain legal status in Brazil.”
“The smoke continued to flow, in irregular puffs, until eventually the room was filled with haze.”
“After fifty years I had forgotten how to conjugate certain irregular verbs correctly and needed that information to complete a book.”
“When was it, Dr. Ernst Weldmann tried to recall — and this question would return in irregular dreams and in unforeseen waking hours, on Holocaust Remembrance Days and on all those anniversaries of what would have been his younger sister's birthdays — that he had decided to specialize in the treatment of children, anyway?”
“My knowledge of many tenses, in irregular verbs especially, is passive, I understand them when I hear them but I don't use them.”
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