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ir- +‎ relevancy or irrelevant +‎ -cy


irrelevancy (countable and uncountable, plural irrelevancies)

  1. (uncountable) The quality of being irrelevant or inapplicable; lack of pertinence or connection.
  2. (countable) A thing that is irrelevant—having no bearing on the subject of discussion.
    • 1895, Mark Twain, Fenimore Cooper's Literary Offences:
      To believe that such talk really ever came out of people's mouths would be to believe that there was a time when time was of no value to a person who thought he had something to say; when it was the custom to spread a two-minute remark out to ten; when a man's mouth was a rolling-mill, and busied itself all day long in turning four-foot pigs of thought into thirty-foot bars of conversational railroad iron by attenuation; when subjects were seldom faithfully stuck to, but the talk wandered all around and arrived nowhere; when conversations consisted mainly of irrelevancies, with here and there a relevancy, a relevancy with an embarrassed look, as not being able to explain how it got there.




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  • irrelevancy in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911