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

The 1st District court ruling does not resolve a discrepancy in the number of emails sent to the judges by the commission. Jeff Mcdonald, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Appeals court orders utility regulators to produce emails in San Onofre investigation," 20 June 2018 The discrepancy was 118 games under .500 for the East as recently as the 2013-14 season. Marc Stein, New York Times, "Finally Free From LeBron’s Reign, the N.B.A. East Has No Reason to Change," 5 July 2018 Tapping into younger voters’ dissatisfaction with that discrepancy, López Obrador specifically targeted younger voters during his campaign, promising them jobs and other educational schemes to confront the cartels’ recruitment drive. Rick Noack, Washington Post, "Why Mexicans chose López Obrador as their new leader, in four graphs," 2 July 2018 Gender dysphoria is defined as stress or discomfort caused by a discrepancy between a person’s gender identity and the gender assigned at birth. Laura A. Bischoff, ajc, "Ohio lawmakers back bill requiring teachers to out transgender students," 30 June 2018 Model differences There’s some discrepancy between the European and the American models, as there often is. Dave Epstein, BostonGlobe.com, "Will we hit 100 degrees next week? It’s possible," 26 June 2018 That discrepancy, incidentally, is precisely why the National Center for Health Statistics collects this data. Philip Bump, courant.com, "Most Adults Live In Wireless-Only Households But Variations Are Important," 1 June 2018 Asked Wednesday about the discrepancy between the two panels' conclusions, Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif. Karoun Demirjian, chicagotribune.com, "Russia favored Trump in 2016, GOP-led Senate panel says in break with House Republicans," 16 May 2018 The performance discrepancy between the BE-4 and the RD-180 exists because the BE-4’s larger purpose is to power the orbital New Glenn rocket Blue Origin has planned for 2020. Bobak Ferdowsi, Popular Mechanics, "Get the Russians Out of Our Rockets!," 18 Apr. 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

5 Nov 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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Comments on discrepancy

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


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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