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 The inconsistency in the filmmaking was driven home by 4DX. Melissa Powers, New York Times, "Watch Movies in 4DX and You’ll Get an Education in Filmmaking," 17 Jan. 2020 And inconsistency is not a formula for making a deep run in the playoffs. Usa Today Sports, USA TODAY, "Which NFL playoff favorite is most at risk of crashing out in divisional round?," 11 Jan. 2020 Given the inconsistency and volativity of early smokeless powders, the taper of the 375 H&H proved useful for easy cycling and, especially, extraction of hot rounds made all the hotter by tropical heat. Outdoor Life, "The Best Big Bore Rifles For Your First African Safari: .375 H&H vs. .416 Rem. Mag. vs. .458 Win. Mag," 3 Jan. 2020 The crazy inconsistency of your selections was not about variety so much as critical incoherence. Los Angeles Times, "‘Cats’ lovers say critics overlooked the music, dance — and some award-worthy acting," 2 Jan. 2020 If the inconsistency between bosses’ words and actions becomes too glaring, reputations can suffer, as Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook knows. The Economist, "The World in 2020 Bosses will pay a price for mixing politics and corporate values," 26 Dec. 2019 What should give the Titans hope is the inconsistency of the Texans. Adam Renuart, CNN, "NFL Sunday: Bears-Packers take on 200th game and more as teams face pressure of a playoff push," 15 Dec. 2019 For the team in general, the other glaring inconsistency has come at the 3-point line. Mike Singer, The Denver Post, "Nuggets coach Michael Malone on expanding Michael Porter Jr.’s role: “I consider it every day”," 10 Dec. 2019 One can be forgiven for cynicism about the fact that each of the inconsistencies in the book’s treatment of tax incidence works in favor of its flat-tax thesis and the resulting narrative that the rich are not paying their fair share. Joshua R. Hendrickson, National Review, "An Oversimplified, Misleading Argument about Inequality and Taxes," 20 Nov. 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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Time Traveler for inconsistency

Time Traveler

The first known use of inconsistency was in 1647

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Statistics for inconsistency

Last Updated

21 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Inconsistency.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 21 January 2020.

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More Definitions for inconsistency


How to pronounce inconsistency (audio)

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).


good-natured easy friendliness

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