in·​con·​gru·​i·​ty | \ ˌin-kən-ˈgrü-ə-tē How to pronounce incongruity (audio) , -ˌkän- \
plural incongruities

Definition of incongruity

1 : the quality or state of being incongruous
2 : something that is incongruous

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of incongruity in a Sentence

she's an incongruity: an impeccably groomed woman who keeps a messy house
Recent Examples on the Web Opponents of Purdue’s plan to hand over the company rather than sell it at a bankruptcy auction point to the incongruity of public entities generating funds for treatment programs through sales of the highly addictive pills. Jef Feeley,, "Purdue Wins Approval of $8.3 Billion U.S. Opioid Settlement," 18 Nov. 2020 And when Steve sent back that caption, just the incongruity of the frankness of her response killed me. Donald Liebenson, Washington Post, "How Steve Martin and illustrator Harry Bliss ended up working on the ‘upbeat book’ we all need right now," 16 Nov. 2020 And there is the jarring incongruity of thousands of Trump supporters packed closely together while coronavirus cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are spiking around the country—often most sharply in the states where Trump is holding the rallies. Susan B. Glasser, The New Yorker, "Donald Trump’s 2020 Superspreader Campaign: A Diary," 3 Nov. 2020 Despite the incongruity of trying to make the famously raucous and crowded Miracle scene Covid-19-friendly, the program could be a lifeline for bars, especially in New York, where drinking establishments have been severely impacted by the pandemic. Fortune, "Can Christmas-themed Miracle bars help save America’s devastated bar industry?," 24 Oct. 2020 Photographer Laurel Chor lives the strange incongruity of democracy-loving Hong Kong’s slide toward authoritarianism. Laurel Chor, National Geographic, "How do you show a place that is losing its freedom?," 4 Sep. 2020 That incongruity was his calling card (as were his paintbrush eyebrows). Penelope Green, New York Times, "Michael Lonsdale, a Bond Villain and Much More, Dies at 89," 26 Sep. 2020 Parul Sehgal has pointed out how clumsy the writing is in this novel; even more jarring is the incongruity of the language with the setting and the characters. Sarah Menkedick, Longreads, "American Dirt: A Bridge to Nowhere," 10 Aug. 2020 Over the years, some observers questioned the apparent incongruity between Lewis’ position as a legislator and his defiance of the law as an activist. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian Magazine, "Remembering Civil Rights Icon John Lewis," 18 July 2020

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.

See More

First Known Use of incongruity

circa 1532, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about incongruity

Time Traveler for incongruity

Time Traveler

The first known use of incongruity was circa 1532

See more words from the same year

Statistics for incongruity

Last Updated

30 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Incongruity.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Dec. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on incongruity

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!