WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2020
- the quality or state of being irregular.
- something irregular.
- a breach of rules, customs, etiquette, morality, etc.
- occasional mild constipation.
- Medieval Latin irrēgulāritās. See ir-2, regularity
- Old French
- Middle English irregularite 1275–1325
- lacking an even shape, formal arrangement, balance, or harmony; uneven:irregular patterns.
- varied in timing or rhythm;
erratic:He worked very irregular hours.
- not according to or conforming to established rules, principles, manners, morals, standards, etc.:The judge ruled that the lawyer's request was highly irregular.
- Grammarnot following the more normal or usual pattern of formation, word changes, etc., in a language, as English verbs that do not form the past tense by adding -ed:the irregular verbs keep and see, with their irregular past tense forms kept and saw.
- one that is irregular, such as a product or material that does not meet standards of the manufacturer.
- Militarya soldier or fighter who does not belong to an official military force, as a guerrilla.
ir•reg•u•lar•ly, adv. See -reg-.
- without symmetry, even shape, formal arrangement, etc.:an irregular pattern.
- not characterized by any fixed principle, method, continuity, or rate:irregular intervals.
- not conforming to established rules, customs, etiquette, morality, etc.:highly irregular behavior.
- not according to rule, or to the accepted principle, method, course, order, etc.
- Grammarnot conforming to the prevalent pattern or patterns of formation, inflection, construction, etc., of a language;
having a rule descriptive of a very small number of items:The English verbs "keep'' and "see'' are irregular in their inflections.
- Military(formerly, of troops) not belonging to an organized group of the established forces.
- flawed, damaged, or failing to meet a specific standard of manufacture:a sale of irregular shirts.
- Botanynot uniform.
- Botany(of a flower) having the members of some or all of its floral circles or whorls differing from one another in size or shape, or extent of union.
- Physiologydeviating or experiencing deviations from a normally regular or cyclic body function, as bowel habits or menstruation.
- Stock Exchange, Business(of a stock or commodity market) of mixed market activity;
showing no clear up or down trend.
- a person or thing that is irregular.
- Communicationsa product or material that does not meet specifications or standards of the manufacturer, as one having imperfections in its pattern.
- Militarya soldier or combatant not of a regular military force, as a guerrilla or partisan.
- Middle French
- Late Latin irrēgulāris (see ir-2, regular); replacing Middle English irreguler
- 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged unsymmetrical, uneven.
- 2.See corresponding entry in Unabridged unmethodical, unsystematic;
disorderly, capricious, erratic, eccentric, lawless.
- 4.See corresponding entry in Unabridged anomalous, unusual. Irregular, abnormal, exceptional imply a deviation from the regular, the normal, the ordinary, or the usual. Irregular, not according to rule, refers to any deviation, as in form, arrangement, action, and the like;
it may imply such deviation as a mere fact, or as regrettable, or even censurable. Abnormal means a deviation from the common rule, often implying that this results in an aberrant or regrettably strange form or nature of a thing:abnormal lack of emotion; A two-headed calf is abnormal.Exceptional means out of the ordinary or unusual;
it may refer merely to the rarity of occurrence, or to the superiority of quality:an exceptional case; an exceptional mind.Because of the stigma of abnormal, exceptional is today frequently substituted for it in contexts where such a euphemism may be thought to be appropriate:a school for exceptional children(children who are abnormal in behavior, mental capacity, or the like).