im·bal·ance | \(ˌ)im-ˈba-lən(t)s \

Definition of imbalance 

: lack of balance : the state of being out of equilibrium or out of proportion a vitamin imbalance racial imbalance in schools

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Other Words from imbalance

imbalanced \(ˌ)im-ˈba-lən(t)st \ 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

But James’s career also reveals the limits of labor autonomy in an infrastructure with such a power imbalance. Dylan Scott, Vox, "LeBron James and the NBA teach us a lot about labor in America," 6 July 2018 This imbalance creates a voltage between buckets that oscillates at the frequency with which spatial holes are burnt and recover—this is the frequency difference between two colors of light that the laser emits. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Laser-powered cell phone transmitters could be in your future," 9 May 2018 Still, arguments in favor of tariffs go like this: Europe currently charges a 10 percent tariff on U.S. cars, and the U.S. charges only 2.5 percent on European cars, and that imbalance is not fair. Nathan Bomey, USA TODAY, "Trump tariffs could add $5,000 to price of new vehicle in U.S.," 3 July 2018 And, thanks to a slowing Chinese economy, the imbalance could get heavier. Alan Murray, Fortune, "Trump Diplomacy, Wilbur Ross, China Surplus: CEO Daily for July 13, 2018," 13 July 2018 If this imbalance were limited to a single chamber of the legislature, or a single election cycle, the Democrats’ frequent carping about a stacked electoral deck might sound like sour grapes. The Economist, "America’s electoral system gives the Republicans advantages over Democrats," 12 July 2018 Because of the imbalance, the NBA Board of Governors on Tuesday continued a discussion about changing the playoff format. Keith Pompey,, "NBA Board of Governors discusses changing the playoff format," 11 July 2018 There are a number of reasons for this imbalance, but a major difference is that Windows 10 forces automatic updates while Windows 7 allows users to fully control when updates are installed. Ken Colburn, azcentral, "Still running Windows 7? Probably not for much longer; Here's what you need to know," 2 July 2018 Some liberals see the imbalances that brought the crisis as closely tied to increasing inequality, a repeat of the 1920s and the disaster that followed (this pure cause-and-effect is also unlikely). Jon Talton, The Seattle Times, "How bubbles and risk came together to cause the panic 10 years ago," 26 June 2018

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.

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First Known Use of imbalance

circa 1890, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near imbalance



Imari ware





Statistics for imbalance

Last Updated

10 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for imbalance

The first known use of imbalance was circa 1890

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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 \

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 \ adjective

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Comments on imbalance

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


to reject or criticize sharply

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