According to several major English dictionaries, irregardless is technically a word, although an informal one. It’s best to use regardless, instead.
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Is a hot dog a sandwich?
Is cereal soup?
Is irregardless a word?
As much as we’d like to investigate all of these questions thoroughly, we’re here to explore whether irregardless is a word. Stick around and read this post because the answer might surprise you.
Check out LanguageTool’s paraphrasing tool to avoid using informal and nonstandard words in your writing.
Is “Irregardless” a Word?
Technically, yes, irregardless is a word. But the caveat is that it’s considered nonstandard. What does that mean? We’ll explain, but first, let’s quickly review what a word is.
A word is a “written or spoken unit of language that means or represents something.” Given this explanation, the Merriam-Webster dictionary includes a definition for irregardless, despite the legion of people who claim this is an affront to the English language.
So, why would a renowned dictionary define such a controversial term? According to Merriam-Webster, the word irregardless has been around for over two hundred years and has been consistently used to mean regardless. It is believed to come from a combination of regardless and irrespective.
As you read this, you may be compiling terms that many people use that are, in fact, not included in dictionaries. However, Merriam-Webster explains that whether a word is defined has to do with the scale of its use and consistency in meaning. However, they state that a “definition is not an endorsement” and caution people to use regardless instead, as irregardless is considered nonstandard and not gaining widespread acceptance.
A nonstandard word does not adhere to typical pronunciation, grammatical guidelines, or idiomatic characteristics of a language.
“Irregardless” vs. “Regardless”
Again, irregardless is a nonstandard word and, therefore, more common in casual conversations. It should be avoided in formal writing. Instead, opt to use the word regardless.
Irregardless, I don’t think Luisa should have gotten that mad.
Regardless, I don’t think Luisa should have gotten that mad.
I was terrified, but irregardless, I watched the horror movie with her.
I was terrified, but regardless, I watched the horror movie with her.
Thomas had already passed the test but helped me study irregardless.
Thomas had already passed the test but helped me study regardless.
Synonyms for “Regardless”
There are a handful of words that can replace regardless in the right context. A few of them are listed here.
She knew she would get a tummy ache, but went ahead and ate the entire cake nonetheless.
She knew she would get a tummy ache, but went ahead and ate the entire cake regardless.
Irrespective of the risks, the explorers continued their expedition.
Regardless of the risks, the explorers continued their expedition.
Despite everything, he maintained a positive attitude.
Regardless of everything, he maintained a positive attitude.
In any event
The weather was questionable, but in any event, they proceeded with the hike.
The weather was questionable, but regardless, they proceeded with the hike
For Stylistic Integrity, Avoid Using “Irregardless”
So, what’s our opinion when it comes to irregardless? We’d suggest that you let it slide if someone uses it around you. If you argue with them that it’s not a word, they just might show you this blog post to prove you wrong.
However, we’d strongly recommend you avoid using this word, especially in professional and academic writing. Despite two hundred years having passed, it’s still not a widely accepted term, so we wouldn’t hold our breath. That said, if you want to maintain your stylistic integrity when writing, use regardless, not irregardless.
Another way to ensure your written content is held to high standards is to use LanguageTool. As your personal writing assistant, LanguageTool ensures your work is flawless, whether you’re crafting a creative project, composing a summary for school, or emailing your boss.