im·​bal·​ance | \ (ˌ)im-ˈba-lən(t)s How to pronounce imbalance (audio) \
plural imbalances

Definition of imbalance

: lack of balance : the state of being out of equilibrium or out of proportion a structural imbalance a chemical imbalance in the brain "… The talks are aimed at reducing the trade imbalance … between the world`s two largest economic powers. …"— Norah O'Donnell A key element of the definition of bullying is a power imbalance that enables the abusive behavior.— Patricia Vowinkel Some have suffered an imbalance of gait known as ataxia.— Lawrence K. Altman

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from imbalance

imbalanced \ (ˌ)im-​ˈba-​lən(t)st How to pronounce imbalance (audio) \ adjective

Examples of imbalance in a Sentence

Her depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. the problem of racial imbalance in schools
Recent Examples on the Web By the late 1970s and early 1980s massive over production had combined with the collapse in sales to create a huge imbalance between supply and demand. Joseph V Micallef, Forbes, 14 June 2021 Correcting chakra and energy imbalance can be a big part of one-on-one sessions with Snow and Childs as well. Travel + Leisure, 11 June 2021 Those laws — and there are more like them in the pipeline across the country, including some that have already been signed into law but will go into effect later — have athletics officials anxious about a competitive imbalance. New York Times, 9 June 2021 The suspect’s brother told police that the suspect is believed to have a chemical imbalance. cleveland, 4 June 2021 And tightness in the front paired with weakness in the back is what creates imbalance and a hunched stance. Amy Louise Bailey, Harper's BAZAAR, 1 June 2021 The White House has pushed back on inflation fears, saying a temporary imbalance between supply and demand is to be expected given the nature of the crisis and recovery. Matt Egan, CNN, 26 May 2021 Zoltan Kun, a conservationist and environmental protection expert, said that while Balaton's water quality has significantly improved since the 1990s, the decreased reed coverage threatens to throw the complex ecosystem into imbalance. Star Tribune, 25 May 2021 Kevin Tarver, who works as a police department chaplain in nearby McKinney, contends that if the incident had been handled differently – and by people trained to handle those with mental imbalance – his son would still be alive. USA Today, 22 May 2021

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

See More

First Known Use of imbalance

circa 1890, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About imbalance

Time Traveler for imbalance

Time Traveler

The first known use of imbalance was circa 1890

See more words from the same year

Statistics for imbalance

Last Updated

18 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Imbalance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for imbalance



English Language Learners Definition of imbalance

: a state or condition in which different things do not occur in equal or proper amounts


im·​bal·​ance | \ (ˈ)im-ˈbal-ən(t)s How to pronounce imbalance (audio) \

Medical Definition of imbalance

: lack of balance : the state of being out of equilibrium or out of proportion: as
a : loss of parallel relation between the optical axes of the eyes caused by faulty action of the extrinsic muscles and often resulting in diplopia
b : absence of biological equilibrium a vitamin imbalance if the ductus arteriosus fails to close, a circulatory imbalance results— E. B. Steen & Ashley Montagu
c : a disproportion between the number of males and females in a population

Other Words from imbalance

imbalanced \ -​ən(t)st How to pronounce imbalance (audio) \ adjective


Test Your Vocabulary

Return of Name that Color!

  • a light greenish blue color
  • Name that color:
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!