Meaning of “irregular” in the English Dictionary

"irregular" in British English

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irregularadjective

uk /ɪˈreɡ.jə.lər/ us /ɪˈreɡ.jə.lɚ/

irregular adjective (RULE)

formal (of behaviour or actions) not according to usual rules or what is expected:

Releasing the goods without an invoice is most irregular.

B1 specialized language An irregular verb, noun, adjective, etc. does not obey the usual rules for words in the language.

More examples

  • That is the pattern for most verbs, but some verbs are irregular and behave differently.
  • A visitor can't wander around the building unaccompanied - that would be most irregular.
  • The company was sold off in a rather irregular way, as I remember.
  • The enquiry showed that various financial transactions had been carried out in a very irregular manner.
  • If there was something irregular about how the system was shut down, you will get this message on screen.
irregularly
adverb uk /ɪˈreɡ.jə.lə.li/ us /ɪˈreɡ.jə.lɚ.li/

irregularly shaped
The verb acts irregularly.

irregularnoun [ C ]

uk /ɪˈreɡ.jə.lər/ us /ɪˈreɡ.jə.lɚ/

(Definition of “irregular” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"irregular" in American English

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irregularadjective

us /ɪˈreɡ·jə·lər/

irregular adjective (SHAPE)

not regular in shape or form; having parts of different shapes or sizes:

an irregular surface

irregular adjective (TIME/SPACE)

not happening at regular times, or not having usual or regular spaces in between:

There are irregular spaces between the words.
He showed up at irregular intervals.

irregular adjective (RULE)

(of behavior or actions) not according to usual rules or what is expected

grammar An irregular verb, noun, adjective, or other type of word does not obey the usual rules in the language for changing word endings.

(Definition of “irregular” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"irregular" in Business English

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irregularadjective

uk /ɪˈreɡjələr/ us

not happening at regular times or in regular amounts:

Many firms have an irregular cashflow.
You will not be penalised for contributing irregular amounts, or missing or stopping payments.
Airport staff inspect the runways three times a day at irregular intervals.

not according to usual rules or what is expected, and often not acceptable:

Investigators found these bank deposits to be highly irregular because the amount exceeded the man's income.
Certain irregular business practices were identified.

(Definition of “irregular” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)