dis·​crep·​an·​cy di-ˈskre-pən-sē How to pronounce discrepancy (audio)
plural discrepancies
: the quality or state of disagreeing or being at variance
: an instance of disagreeing or being at variance

Examples of discrepancy in a Sentence

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
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
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
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
Discrepancies in the firm's financial statements led to an investigation. There were discrepancies between their accounts of the accident.
Recent Examples on the Web Because of its electoral system, Britain can see large discrepancies between the share of seats won by a party and its share of the popular vote. Carlotta Dotto, CNN, 4 July 2024 But all else being equal, 20 percent seems a big discrepancy between two people entering the same job at the same level. Karla L. Miller, Washington Post, 27 June 2024 The skeleton’ bones and joints do not reflect the wear typically associated with years of menial work and drudgery, and the difference in diet might simply reflect gender discrepancies in medieval Guadalajara. Eli Wizevich, Smithsonian Magazine, 26 June 2024 Errors forced the store associate to return to the stockroom and check what was scanned to correct discrepancies, causing bottlenecks and slowing down processes. Glenn Taylor, Sourcing Journal, 25 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for discrepancy 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'discrepancy.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


earlier discrepance in same sense (borrowed from Latin discrepantia, derivative of discrepant-, discrepans, present participle of discrepāre "to differ in sound, be out of tune, be inconsistent") + -ancy — more at discrepant

First Known Use

1579, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of discrepancy was in 1579

Dictionary Entries Near discrepancy

Cite this Entry

“Discrepancy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/discrepancy. Accessed 21 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


dis·​crep·​an·​cy dis-ˈkrep-ən-sē How to pronounce discrepancy (audio)
plural discrepancies
: the quality or state of being different : disagreement
a great discrepancy between the two reports
: something that is different or that disagrees
discrepancies in the firm's financial statements

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