in·​con·​sis·​ten·​cy | \ ˌin-kən-ˈsi-stən(t)-sē How to pronounce inconsistency (audio) \

Definition of inconsistency

1 : an instance of being inconsistent
2 : the quality or state of being inconsistent

Examples of inconsistency in a Sentence

Police noticed inconsistency in his two statements. Customers have been complaining about the inconsistency in the quality of service they have received. The team's biggest problem has been inconsistency: it has played well at times, but at other times it has played very poorly. There is some inconsistency in her argument. Careful editing of the entire text has eliminated inconsistencies of style. We noted a major inconsistency in his story.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Court officials past and present couldn't explain the inconsistencies in procedures. Mary Jo Pitzl, azcentral, "These courts must protect kids' privacy. They also must be public. Can it be done?," 31 July 2019 Since these numbers are reported internally by each school system, there are likely inconsistencies in reporting. Hailey Auglair |,, "Alabama schools are charging more in required dues and fees," 24 July 2019 Nearly one month after customers accused Jaclyn Hill of selling lipstick that contained reported hair and inconsistencies in texture, the beauty vlogger has now disappeared from social media completely. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Jaclyn Hill Deleted Her Social Media Following the Controversial Release of Her Jaclyn Hill Cosmetics Lipstick Line," 3 July 2019 Ellis puts much of that inconsistency on the decision-making of former co-owner Ron Paloucci, who asked to be bought out of his stake in War Story after a 10th-place finish in the 2018 Pegasus World Cup. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Pacific Classic entry War Story has produced quite the racing tale," 15 Aug. 2019 Maurizio Sarri's Chelsea were the epitome of inconsistency, but still played some incredible football en-route to securing a top-four finish in the league., "Chelsea 2019/20 Season Preview: Strengths, Weaknesses, Key Man and Predictions," 7 Aug. 2019 But take a closer look, and a number of inconsistencies emerge. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "What David Levinthal’s Photos of Toys Reveal About American Myth and Memory," 3 July 2019 There were certainly also stretches of inconsistency. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Jordan Poole taken by Golden State Warriors in 1st round of NBA draft," 20 June 2019 Anderson doesn’t want to say that people shouldn’t buy things or that consumerism is bad—which sometimes leads to inconsistencies in her approach. Hanna Kozlowska, Quartz, "An influencer’s antidote to influencing," 23 June 2019

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

1647, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for inconsistency

Last Updated

2 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for inconsistency

The first known use of inconsistency was in 1647

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More Definitions for inconsistency



English Language Learners Definition of inconsistency

: the quality or fact of not staying the same at different times
: the quality or fact of having parts that disagree with each other
: a difference or disagreement between two statements which means that both cannot be true


in·​con·​sis·​ten·​cy | \ ˌin-kən-ˈsi-stən-sē How to pronounce inconsistency (audio) \
plural inconsistencies

Kids Definition of inconsistency

1 : the quality or state of not being in agreement or not being regular The team's biggest problem is inconsistency.
2 : something that is not in agreement or not regular There are inconsistencies in her story.

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Comments on inconsistency

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


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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