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noun, dis·crep·an·cy \dis-ˈkre-pən-sē\

Simple Definition of discrepancy

  • : a difference especially between things that should be the same

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of discrepancy

plural discrepancies

  1. 1 :  the quality or state of disagreeing or being at variance

  2. 2 :  an instance of disagreeing or being at variance

Examples of discrepancy in a sentence

  1. Dr. Derman, who spent 17 years at Goldman Sachs and became managing director, was a forerunner of the many physicists and other scientists who have flooded Wall Street in recent years, moving from a world in which a discrepancy of a few percentage points in a measurement can mean a Nobel Prize or unending mockery to a world in which a few percent one way can land you in jail and a few percent the other way can win you your own private Caribbean island. —Dennis Overbye, New York Times, 9 Mar. 2009

  2. Why the difference? Why are some individuals so outwardly altered by time and others not? Or, in other words, why is there often a discrepancy between chronological age and biological age? —Time, 17 Oct. 2005

  3. If an article is on one machine but not the other, a copy is made to eliminate the discrepancy. —Simson Garfinkel, Technology Review, November 2001

  4. The discrepancy can't be written off simply as lack of data, because it shows up in one of the best-studied periods in Earth's history … —Tim Appenzeller, Science, 12 Feb. 1993

  5. Discrepancies in the firm's financial statements led to an investigation.

  6. There were discrepancies between their accounts of the accident.

Origin of discrepancy

(see discrepant)

First Known Use: circa 1623

DISCREPANCY Defined for Kids


noun dis·crep·an·cy \di-ˈskre-pən-sē\

Definition of discrepancy for Students

  1. :  a difference between things that are expected to be the same <There is a discrepancy in the records.>

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up discrepancy? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a timid, meek, or unassertive person

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