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

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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

Asked about the incongruity in an interview Sunday with Axios on HBO, the Apple CEO admitted that Google’s search engine is still the best out there. Dan Gallagher, WSJ, "Apple’s Deal With Google Is a Two-Way Street," 20 Nov. 2018 If there was a glaring incongruity between these activities, an indication of a profoundly divided self, so what? Lynn Yaeger, Vogue, "A Handbag Named Desire: Desperate for a Vuitton Speedy in Working-Class Massapequa," 31 Aug. 2018 There are distracting incongruities throughout, sentences that work perfectly well on their own but serve to undermine aspects of character development or plot, and thus the overall cohesion of the novel. Emily St. John Mandel, New York Times, "The Mysterious ‘Parking Lot Attendant’ at the Center of a Web of Intrigue," 4 May 2018 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

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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Time Traveler for incongruity

The first known use of incongruity was circa 1532

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