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

One of the central mysteries of that fateful day, long accepted as August 24, has been the incongruity of certain finds, including corpses in cool-weather clothing. Chiara Goia, Smithsonian, "The New Treasures of Pompeii," 21 Aug. 2019 As ever, the movement phrases have nothing to do with the stories, but the incongruity here is hilarious. Janine Parker,, "Merce Cunningham dances are marvels anew with Compagnie CNDC-Angers," 4 July 2019 The artist’s Renaissance-style method, which entails multiple layers of translucent glazes, heightens the satirical incongruity. Mark Jenkins, Washington Post, "In the galleries: Artechouse’s ‘Infinite Space’ has waves of natural influences," 9 Aug. 2019 Not that this seeming incongruity was the only aspect of the night that deserved such a response. David Rabe, The New Yorker, "Uncle Jim Called," 1 July 2019 Shaw hasn’t yet apologized for it, either, a nagging incongruity in a franchise with a defining code of honor among racers, thieves and spies. Los Angeles Times, "‘Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw’s’ Jason Statham addresses justice for Han," 5 Aug. 2019 This kind might be described as reality upended; and an abundant, deadpan incongruity defines her work here. Mark Feeney,, "Where Europe and Asia meet: Chloe Dewe Mathews’s ‘Caspian: The Elements’," 12 June 2019 While lower courts ruled in favor of the employees in the first two cases, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the employer in the Bostock case, setting up incongruity between the lower courts, and thus, a Supreme Court review. NBC News, "Over 200 major companies sign Supreme Court brief in favor of LGBTQ workers," 2 July 2019 That’s in part the result of a great incongruity in the ideology of the contemporary left: Progressives insist social reforms implemented in the name of individual autonomy can achieve their aims only by outright coercion. Barton Swaim, WSJ, "The Turnabout on Religious Freedom," 21 June 2019

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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Statistics for incongruity

Last Updated

20 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for incongruity

The first known use of incongruity was circa 1532

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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).


to wander slowly or to speak indistinctly

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