in·con·gru·i·ty | \ˌin-kən-ˈgrü-ə-tē, -ˌkän-\
plural incongruities

Definition of incongruity 

1 : the quality or state of being incongruous

2 : something that is incongruous

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Synonyms for incongruity


contradiction, dichotomy, paradox

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Examples of incongruity in a Sentence

she's an incongruity: an impeccably groomed woman who keeps a messy house

Recent Examples on the Web

The incongruities invite attention, prompt us to question our assumptions about gender with every startling juxtaposition of name and pronoun, and our assumptions about relationships with every pairing where love is vampiric and destructive. Amal El-mohtar, New York Times, "Princesses, Priestesses and Time Travel: What’s New in Science Fiction and Fantasy," 19 Apr. 2018 Funny Business Finding the right book of comedy may be trickier given the incongruity between your son’s youth and his more grown-up tastes. Nicole Lamy, New York Times, "Got a Reluctant Reader at Home?," 5 June 2018 Consider the incongruity: A more recent retiree than my dad, who might have pitched only a handful of career innings, qualifies for a full pension and lifetime health-care coverage. Mike Stenhouse, WSJ, "A Major League Pension Error," 12 June 2018 Impressive as the great man looks, there is a certain incongruity seeing him surrounded by the logos of FIFA’s commercial partners Budweiser, Coke and Visa., "90min World Cup Fan Diaries: From Russia With Love," 9 July 2018 The result is significant disparities, and some striking incongruities. Jack Schneider, The Atlantic, "The Problem With Generalizing About ‘America’s Schools’," 5 July 2018 Deborah Roberts’ black girls are beautiful in their incongruity. Sharon Mizota,, "Deborah Roberts' powerful statement of black female identity," 29 May 2018 While fans are irked at the incongruity of Ms. Williams’s ranking given her ability, to do otherwise would have created just as much turmoil. Jo Craven Mcginty, WSJ, "Serena Williams’s Return at French Open Puts WTA Rankings in Spotlight," 1 June 2018 Polanski had long been an incongruity in Hollywood who had continued making films and winning awards as a fugitive. Lindsey Bahr, Fox News, "Polanski's film academy expulsion, 40-years in the making," 4 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'incongruity.' 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 incongruity

circa 1532, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

20 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for incongruity

The first known use of incongruity was circa 1532

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not any or not one

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