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

To argue that because Lewinsky was an adult at the time there could be no power imbalance is just wrong and negates the workplace harassment experiences of women of every age. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "Hillary Clinton Says Her Husband's Affair with Monica Lewinsky Wasn't an 'Abuse of Power'," 15 Oct. 2018 In part that was a result of Brazil favoring the left so heavily, but equally that imbalance was far less pronounced after halftime when Douglas Costa came on. Jonathan Wilson,, "Brazil Secures Its Win, but Neymar's Actions Remain a Lightning Rod," 22 June 2018 Neither corrects the imbalance, and killing results in strong or smarter bobcats moving into the area. Aditi Shrikant,, "When wild animals urbanize," 13 July 2018 Named after a move designed to clear space on crowded dance floors, Open The Circle is the Era's solution to Chicago's power imbalances, an attempt to redirect resources towards artists and children in underserved communities. Anna White, Chicago Reader, "Hip-Hop / Music Chicago's footwork community takes center stage at the MCA," 6 July 2018 Her death was ruled accidental, due to an electrolyte imbalance, a condition that can be caused by dehydration. CBS News, "Woman missing 10 days found dead in stairwell of Zuckerberg S.F. General Hospital," 31 May 2018 In an effort to rectify that imbalance, Britain has called for women to make up a third of all board members among companies listed on the index by 2020. New York Times, "Here’s Why British Firms Say Their Boards Lack Women. Prepare to Cringe.," 31 May 2018 Symptoms from heroin, fentanyl and prescription-painkiller withdrawal can include severe diarrhea and vomiting, which could lead to dehydration, electrolyte imbalance and, ultimately, death. Terry Demio, USA TODAY, "Incarcerated opioid addicts often have to tough out withdrawal. Some jails say they have a better way.," 23 May 2018 That is creating a funding imbalance that strains the social safety net that supports the elderly. Janet Adamy, WSJ, "U.S. Births Hit Lowest Number Since 1987," 17 May 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

21 Nov 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).


noxious or harmful

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