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

Example Sentences

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web There's also a small but potentially important discrepancy in the timing of the first emergency alert issued by MSU the night of the shooting. Darcie Moran, Detroit Free Press, 10 Mar. 2023 Thomas was indicted alongside two others for the 2004 shooting despite this discrepancy. Emily Mae Czachor, CBS News, 9 Mar. 2023 When Weller confronted Bradbury with this discrepancy, the author couldn’t explain it. Erik Ofgang, Smithsonian Magazine, 9 Mar. 2023 But there is usually at least one discrepancy between the winners. Scott Feinberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 26 Feb. 2023 Technological changes can account for much of this discrepancy. Phil Plait, Scientific American, 31 Jan. 2023 Deriving analytical, correcting formulas based on several FEM models, the team reduced this discrepancy to 1°C! IEEE Spectrum, 30 Dec. 2022 Very large discrepancy The Proceedings B paper suffered from similar timeline issues, according to the panel. Bymartin Enserink, science.org, 13 Feb. 2023 If there are inconsistencies, the elections office must give voters a chance to correct the discrepancy – a process known as ballot curing. Sudiksha Kochi, USA TODAY, 10 Jan. 2023 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'discrepancy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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 29 Mar. 2023.

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

More from Merriam-Webster on discrepancy

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