- Enter forcibly or suddenly.
- (Of a bird or other animal) migrate into an area in abnormally large numbers.
“When I unscrewed the pipe, muddy water started to irrupt into the room.”
“The declining frog population caused mosquitoes to irrupt over the following season.”
“The rain irrupted into the tent with a sudden gush.”
Latin, mid-19th century
Why this word?
“Irrupt” and “erupt” are homophones, meaning they sound the same, but have different spellings and different meanings. They are both from the Latin root “rumpere,” meaning “break,” but their prefixes are different. It’s just the difference between “in” and “out,” but the words have been applied to abnormally large migrations of birds (to irrupt) and violent volcanic explosions (to erupt).
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