Should the word "irresolute" be used to describe people only or it can be used for other things as well. For instance, can an outcome be irresolute?

  • 1
    If a person is resolute they are determined or resolved to do something. An abstract concept can't be resolute or irresolute. Jul 17, 2020 at 6:58
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    Tentative can be used of an outcome as well as of a person, and when used of a person it has a similar meaning to irresolute. An outcome though, cannot be irresolute.
    – Peter
    Jul 17, 2020 at 8:47
  • 2
    An animal might be irresolute, though. But you need a sentient being.
    – Xanne
    Jul 17, 2020 at 9:02
  • I might say a puzzle is "irresolute". But then my English instructor might dock my grade for doing that.
    – Hot Licks
    Jul 18, 2020 at 12:07

2 Answers 2


Although it doesn't include a broadened (transferred) usage in its definition, which demands a volitional referent, Cambridge English Dictionary includes an example sentence utilising such a usage:

irresolute [adjective]: not able or willing to take decisions or actions

  • an irresolute reply

The missing required definition is 'showing/involving a lack of resolve'.


There is a possible confusion with 'unresolved', not satisfactorily concluded, obviously referring to situations.


A thing can be ambiguous, contradictory or equivocal. The word 'irresolute' is common when describing people or their behaviours.

Here are some example sentences for 'irresolute':

'She has always been irresolute when it comes to making decisions like this.' 'Her irresoluteness could give rise to serious consequences.'

However, If you think you are right, then look it up and find more synonyms for it and perhaps try to look for some sublime example sentences from the internet that are possibly written by experts and you'll get an understanding of the nuance of the words about which you have concerns.

I hope this is helpful.😀

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