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

Spencer Greenberg, founder of, created a time-and-money calculator to elucidate the inconsistencies. WSJ, "Stop Wasting Money and Start Saving Time: A Guide to Being Smart With Both," 8 Dec. 2018 Viewers also pointed out the inconsistencies of Madison's involvement in the pairing. Allie Gemmill, Teen Vogue, "Two "Murder House" Characters End Up Together in "American Horror Story: Apocalypse"," 18 Oct. 2018 But the need for starting depth is glaring, especially in light of the inconsistencies of Kyle Hendricks, Tyler Chatwood and Jose Quintana. Mark Gonzales,, "Cubs need insurance for the rotation and bullpen, no matter how small the upgrade," 5 July 2018 To say the least, the inconsistency of his approach is on full display. Ed Rogers,, "In Singapore, Trump tests the value of just showing up," 12 June 2018 The frustration for Altman lies in the inconsistency. Tyson Alger,, "USC crushes Oregon's hopes as Ducks look to what comes next," 10 Mar. 2018 While YouTube's new, harsher action against Paul is welcome, the inconsistency of its responses gives the impression that its actions stem from a fear of alienated advertisers, not from a sense of responsibility to the community. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "Op-ed: Logan Paul tases a dead rat, draws YouTube’s harshest crackdown yet," 9 Feb. 2018 With onboard preamps and pickups, these let artists play large venues with acoustic guitars without putting a mic directly on the instrument, which is a logistical hassle that can result in volume inconsistency and feedback issues. Henry Robertson, Popular Mechanics, "Fender's 'Acoustasonic' Is a True Acoustic-Electric Hybrid Guitar," 22 Jan. 2019 In their testimonies last week, both Judge Kavanaugh and Ms. Ford had some pinholes pricked through their testimonies: he about his wild student life at Georgetown Prep and Yale, she about factual inconsistencies and potential political motivations. Allen C. Guelzo, WSJ, "Kavanaugh May Be the Democrats’ Waterloo," 5 Oct. 2018

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

15 Apr 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).


to move or proceed with twists and turns

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