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

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 Still, progress on the supply-demand imbalance that sits at the root of price increases suggests that the U.S. has reached peak inflation, economists told ABC News. Max Zahn, ABC News, 14 Aug. 2022 One reason is that there’s still an imbalance between supply and demand for technical roles. Wired, 13 Aug. 2022 The imbalance became more marked after the initial acute phase of the pandemic passed and telemedicine became more normalized. Katie Palmer, STAT, 12 Aug. 2022 The gargantuan power imbalance that existed between the U.S. and China then has narrowed significantly, and Beijing’s ambitions have correspondingly widened. Michael Schuman, The Atlantic, 11 Aug. 2022 This power imbalance is plaguing regional theater across America. Ashley Lee, Los Angeles Times, 9 Aug. 2022 This is creating an imbalance that is causing climate change. Pawan Mehra, Forbes, 9 Aug. 2022 The imbalance suggests the pandemic continues to be a challenge for the talent market and, for some, their old jobs have not returned. Amber Burton, Fortune, 8 Aug. 2022 The job-worker imbalance needs immediate attention, Popp told the members of the business community during a Wednesday presentation. Alex Demarban, Anchorage Daily News, 4 Aug. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of imbalance

circa 1890, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for imbalance

Time Traveler

The first known use of imbalance was circa 1890

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Last Updated

17 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Imbalance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for imbalance


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


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