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 that particular great imbalance in the universe is about to be fixed. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Emily Ratajkowski Is Launching Her Own Lingerie Line Called M / RATA with Blush Lingerie," 17 Nov. 2018 But here’s the rub: These recent estimates from the Washington University study reveal a stark imbalance in the intake and the outflow. Jill Kiedaisch, Popular Mechanics, "Earth’s Crust Is Swallowing Way More Ocean Than We Thought," 15 Nov. 2018 For Thompson, the gender imbalance in such a high stakes career was not lost on her. Lauren Sanchez, Vogue, "Emma Thompson Just Wanted to Dance at the New York City Premiere for The Children Act," 12 Sep. 2018 But none of this matters unless firms correct the obscene gender imbalances in their upper ranks., "Women in law paint picture of harassment," 12 July 2018 The deal—struck between SAG-AFTRA and ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox—could serve as a benchmark for other meaningful agreements in the future, as the union seeks to limit situations in which extreme power imbalances can lead to abuses of authority. David Sims, The Atlantic, "Can Hollywood Kill the Casting Couch?," 13 June 2018 Earlier in the week, IATA members from airlines across the world had listened to a panel discussing ways to address gender imbalances in the industry. Fortune, "Qatar Airways CEO Apologizes for Saying His Job Must Be Held by a Man," 6 June 2018 Unilateral responses and threats over trade war will solve nothing of the serious imbalances in world trade. Ken Thomas And Angela Charlton,, "Trump plans to go ahead with steel, aluminum tariffs on EU," 31 May 2018 Mr Trump is pursuing China, too, offering LNG as a way to narrow the bilateral trade imbalance. The Economist, "The shale boom could prove a two-edged sword for America," 15 Mar. 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

3 Jan 2019

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 gather or build up little by little

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