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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Director of football Marcel Brands and manager Marco Silva are thought to be keen on adding further signings following spells of inconsistency last season, with James McCarthy and Muhamed Besic two players could be moved on., "Fabian Delph Subject of Everton Interest as Toffees Consider Swoop for Man City Midfielder," 10 July 2019 In a frontcourt defined by turnover and inconsistency, Looney has been a stabilizing force. Connor Letourneau,, "Kevon Looney returns to Warriors on 3-year deal," 1 July 2019 Then after some mild improvement mixed with more inconsistency over the next two months, Thibodeau was fired. Dave Campbell, The Seattle Times, "Wolves seek establishment of stability, return to playoffs," 11 Apr. 2019 To write a dream, which shall resemble the real course of a dream, with all its inconsistency, its eccentricities and aimlessness—with nevertheless a leading idea running through the whole. The New York Review of Books, "Alberto Manguel," 6 Nov. 2018 Now a new analysis has found inconsistencies in this conclusion, suggesting that ’Oumuamua may not be a comet after all. Quanta Magazine, "Interstellar Visitor Found to Be Unlike a Comet or an Asteroid," 10 Oct. 2018 Many fans have grown tired of his inconsistency, and there are plenty of reasons why the Blues shouldn't offer him fresh terms., "5 Reasons Why Chelsea Shouldn't Offer Willian a New Contract," 17 Sep. 2019 But his inconsistencies stood out as much as his potential. Jonas Shaffer,, "Ravens trade offensive lineman Jermaine Eluemunor to Patriots for undisclosed draft pick," 28 Aug. 2019 Harris, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, and Senator Cory Booker - the three top-polling candidates besides Biden - seemed to stick together and attacked Biden on his voting inconsistencies instead of each other. Jaclyn Gallucci, Fortune, "4 Things We Learned From Last Night’s Democratic Debate," 1 Aug. 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.

See More

First Known Use of inconsistency

1647, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about inconsistency

Statistics for inconsistency

Last Updated

14 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for inconsistency

The first known use of inconsistency was in 1647

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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.

Keep scrolling for more

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).


friendly or mild

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!