1. Impossible to resist: an irresistible impulse to sneeze.
2. Having an overpowering appeal: irresistible beauty.
3. Usage Problem Inevitable or inexorable.
ir′re·sis′ti·bili·ty, ir′re·sisti·ble·ness n.
Usage Note: The word irresistible is sometimes used to mean "bound to happen, unstoppable, inevitable." A majority of the Usage Panel objects to this usage. In our 2006 survey, some 65 percent rejected the sentence The rise of liberal blogs was irresistible, given the broader climate of political debate.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.