in·​con·​sis·​tent | \ˌin-kən-ˈsi-stənt \

Definition of inconsistent 

: lacking consistency: such as

a : not compatible with another fact or claim inconsistent statements

b : containing incompatible elements an inconsistent argument

c : incoherent or illogical in thought or actions : changeable

d : not satisfiable by the same set of values for the unknowns inconsistent equations inconsistent inequalities

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Other Words from inconsistent

inconsistently adverb

Examples of inconsistent in a Sentence

Customers have been complaining about the inconsistent service they have received. The pain has been inconsistent. Her grades have been inconsistent this school year. Their descriptions of the accident were inconsistent. The results of the two experiments were inconsistent. The decision was inconsistent with the company's policy.
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Recent Examples on the Web

These overalls are a quiet constant in an increasingly inconsistent and discordant world—and every week Poehler delivers. Lourdes Avila Uribe, Glamour, "Amy Poehler's Making It Overalls Are the Only Pure Thing Left in the World," 16 Oct. 2018 This data differs from that of the CDC, perhaps because birth rate reporting is inconsistent and unenforced. Jennifer Gerson, Marie Claire, "What Are the Chances IVF Works?," 1 Oct. 2018 Collectively, their stories suggest that applicants face an inconsistent and fickle bureaucracy when applying. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "Transgender People Share Their Passport Application Difficulties," 1 Aug. 2018 The numbers that don't matter very much: Size 8: Too many people have a diet goal to be a specific size, but the numbers on clothes are inconsistent and arbitrary. Cara Rosenbloom,, "Ignore calories and BMI. Here are the health numbers that really matter.," 9 July 2018 He had been convicted on inconsistent and faulty witness testimony, his defense attorneys and prosecutors say. Tim Prudente, Washington Post, "Baltimore man exonerated of murder after 30 years in prison," 4 July 2018 If something happens to Wagner, one of rookie fifth-round pick Tyrell Crosby or inconsistent (and oft-injured) vet Corey Robinson is probably next man up. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Lions 2018 most important: No. 14 Rick Wagner a top RT in NFL," 3 July 2018 Although his tellings were inconsistent and exaggerated, the story was based on the highly unusual case of Linda Taylor. Time Staff, Time, "The 25 Moments From American History That Matter Right Now," 28 June 2018 Maker was inconsistent and John Henson missed the final five games of Milwaukee's first-round loss to Boston with a sore back, leaving the position to Maker and journeyman Tyler Zeller. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "The internet's mock-draft collection thinks the Bucks will be on guard for Thursday's NBA draft," 20 June 2018

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

1620, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for inconsistent

Last Updated

12 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for inconsistent

The first known use of inconsistent was in 1620

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More Definitions for inconsistent



English Language Learners Definition of inconsistent

: not always acting or behaving in the same way

: not continuing to happen or develop in the same way

: having parts that disagree with each other : not in agreement with something


in·​con·​sis·​tent | \ˌin-kən-ˈsi-stənt \

Kids Definition of inconsistent

1 : not being in agreement Their stories are inconsistent.

2 : not staying the same in thoughts or practices His scores are inconsistent.

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Comments on inconsistent

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


playful or foolish behavior

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