dis·​crep·​an·​cy | \dis-ˈkre-pən-sē \
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

James Knierim's lab at Hopkins has reconciled this seeming discrepancy in a manner Talmudic in its neatness: there's no contradiction! Diana Gitig, Ars Technica, "Collating memories of what happened based on where it happened," 25 Nov. 2018 If the prosecutors’ suspicion turns out to be accurate, it couldn’t be learned why Nissan’s accountants didn’t spot the discrepancy and ensure correct reporting of Mr. Ghosn’s compensation. Peter Landers, WSJ, "Japan Investigation Looks at Ghosn’s Stock-Related Pay," 20 Nov. 2018 Madeline Gannon is someone who delights in this discrepancy. James Vincent, The Verge, "Teaching robots body language offers common ground for humans and machines," 11 Nov. 2018 Biologists have wondered about this discrepancy for decades. New York Times, "The Evolutionary Origin of Descending Testicles," 29 June 2018 This discrepancy raises the question of who—or what—can film a city’s residents and under what investigative circumstances. Geoff Manaugh, The Atlantic, "Drone Cops Take Flight in Los Angeles," 8 June 2018 After The Republic pointed out this discrepancy, Villasenor changed his story. Jessica Boehm, azcentral, "Accusations detailed in Phoenix medical-marijuana dispensary cases," 10 May 2018 To illustrate this discrepancy, researchers sprinkled gold dust onto two feathers: one belonging to the lesser melampitta, a type of songbird, and the other to a bird of paradise species. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Scientists Shine New Light on the Blackest Black Feathers," 11 Jan. 2018 Part of Gould's argument centered on a discrepancy between the 1839 skull measurements and Morton's 1840 data, showing a significant difference between the African skulls and the others. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "There’s new evidence confirming bias of the “father of scientific racism”," 4 Oct. 2018

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

see discrepant

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Statistics for discrepancy

Last Updated

3 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for discrepancy

The first known use of discrepancy was in 1579

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More Definitions for discrepancy



English Language Learners Definition of discrepancy

: a difference especially between things that should be the same


dis·​crep·​an·​cy | \di-ˈskre-pən-sē \

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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