dis·​crep·​an·​cy | \ di-ˈskre-pən-sē How to pronounce discrepancy (audio) \
plural discrepancies

Definition of discrepancy

1 : the quality or state of disagreeing or being at variance
2 : an instance of disagreeing or being at variance

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web Citing this discrepancy, a group of local artists, which calls itself the Unified Tattoo and Body Art Shops of San Francisco, pushed the city to allow an accelerated reopening. Carly Stern, SFChronicle.com, "Bay Area tattoo shops hope clients will have skin in the game when they reopen," 30 June 2020 Many flood experts said the discrepancy between the two models wasn’t surprising, given the limitations baked into FEMA’s calculations. USA Today, "Millions of Americans think they’re safe from flood waters. They aren’t.," 29 June 2020 Many flood experts said the discrepancy between the two models wasn’t surprising, given the limitations baked into FEMA’s calculations. The Enquirer, "Thousands in Greater Cincinnati think they’re safe from flood waters. They aren’t.," 29 June 2020 One of the studies, by University of Virginia economist John McLaren, found that the racial discrepancy remained even after controlling for income or insurance rates. David Harrison, WSJ, "Public Transit Use Is Associated With Higher Coronavirus Death Rates, Researchers Find," 28 June 2020 Linster agrees that this discrepancy seriously limits what Chong’s study can tell us about how smell works in the real world. Grace Huckins, Wired, "Scientists Taught Mice to Smell an Odor That Doesn’t Exist," 25 June 2020 The discrepancy is even starker with Johnson County, which has seen 1,205 cases with 117 deaths, some of which occurred in nursing homes. Indianapolis Star, The Indianapolis Star, "Statewide coronavirus update: Here's how Indiana's rental assistance program could help," 24 June 2020 The presumed front-runner is Louisville Metro Councilman David Yates, who was recently sued by his primary opponents, who tried unsuccessfully to remove him from the ballot because of a name discrepancy with his filing. Joe Sonka, The Courier-Journal, "4 state Senate primaries (and one special election) to watch in Kentucky on Tuesday," 22 June 2020 Details of these advances, which are paid by a publisher before any book sells, showed a wide discrepancy between the amount of money black authors and non-black authors have received. Lisa Salinas, Dallas News, "Shine a light: A new movement seeks to fill bestseller lists with African American works," 18 June 2020

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.

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First Known Use of discrepancy

1579, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for discrepancy

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

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Time Traveler for discrepancy

Time Traveler

The first known use of discrepancy was in 1579

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Statistics for discrepancy

Last Updated

3 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Discrepancy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/discrepancy. Accessed 11 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for discrepancy


How to pronounce discrepancy (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of discrepancy

: a difference especially between things that should be the same


dis·​crep·​an·​cy | \ di-ˈskre-pən-sē How to pronounce discrepancy (audio) \

Kids Definition of discrepancy

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

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