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 According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 18 states require that voters be notified when there is a missing signature or signature discrepancy on their mail-in ballot and also be given an opportunity to correct it. Abby Patkin, USA TODAY, "Fact check: Georgia ballot curing is not election fraud," 6 Nov. 2020 Hofmeyer did not respond to a question about the discrepancy. Ian Duncan Washington Post, Star Tribune, "A woman died of coronavirus on a plane. Her fellow passengers were never notified.," 31 Oct. 2020 Hofmeyer did not respond to a question about the discrepancy. Washington Post, "A woman died of coronavirus on a plane. Her fellow passengers were never notified.," 30 Oct. 2020 Current law requires voters to be notified by mail after the election if there was a discrepancy and their votes were thrown out. Linda Satter, Arkansas Online, "Judge denies request on ballot signatures in Arkansas," 27 Oct. 2020 There also seems to be some discrepancy in the survey results. Sebastian Blanco, Car and Driver, "In Case of Electric-Car Fire, Half of Fire Departments Are Unprepared," 10 Oct. 2020 Davis said that if there is any discrepancy between Pac-12 protocols and those from the state, UO will abide by the state’s guidelines. oregonlive, "Lane County Public Health approves Oregon athletics' plans to resume sports," 19 Sep. 2020 There is a wide discrepancy in approaches to the coronavirus by the world's political leaders, some countries are lifting lockdowns as Covid-19 deaths continue to rise, and global health agencies are backtracking on their guidance. Emma Reynolds, CNN, "Confusion reigns as countries loosen coronavirus lockdowns and cases rise," 13 June 2020 This discrepancy may be in part because these campaigns generally showed poor understanding of how that pathway works in practice. Jeremy Snyder, Scientific American, "Beware Political Hype over the 'Right to Try' COVID Drugs," 2 Nov. 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

24 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Discrepancy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/discrepancy. Accessed 26 Nov. 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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