in·​equal·​i·​ty | \ˌi-ni-ˈkwä-lə-tē \

Definition of inequality 

1 : the quality of being unequal or uneven: such as

a : social disparity

b : disparity of distribution or opportunity

c : lack of evenness

d : the condition of being variable : changeableness

2 : an instance of being unequal

3 : a formal statement of inequality between two quantities usually separated by a sign of inequality (such as <, >, or ≠ signifying respectively is less than, is greater than, or is not equal to)

Examples of inequality in a Sentence

They discussed the problem of inequality between students. He accused the company of inequality in its hiring practices. He has proposed a new system designed to remove inequalities in health care.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Amazon also gets blamed for housing prices, which have skyrocketed in the past five years, and for the growing income inequality in the city. Rachel Lerman, The Seattle Times, "HQ2: What’s in it for New York, Virginia sites? Amazon lays out some perks," 13 Nov. 2018 This mild-mannered vlogger endeavors to uncover corruption and speak truth to power regarding income inequality in the Bay Area. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Venom film review: Stupid, but still good enough to bite your head off," 5 Oct. 2018 Winning the presidency is never an easy task in a divided nation of 209 million people with gaping income inequality. Samantha Pearson And Luciana Magalhaes, WSJ, "Brazilian Ex-Army Captain Draws Voters Looking for ‘Least Worst Option’," 4 Oct. 2018 Declining rates of union membership, deindustrialisation and rising income inequality have wreaked havoc among middle- and lower-class black men. The Economist, "The wage gap between white and black men is growing wider," 5 July 2018 The single biggest challenge Florida leaders must confront to secure a better future for Floridians is the issue of closing the income inequality gap in both rural and urban communities. miamiherald, "Leigh-Ann Buchanan," 30 June 2018 Opponents and hardline Muslim groups, including the FPI, accuse Widodo of failing to stem income inequality or deliver higher growth, but the most incendiary attacks have often been around religion and ethnicity. The Christian Science Monitor, "Indonesian elections hint at rise of political Islam in the secular country," 26 June 2018 The firebrand contender supports the peace accord and has galvanized youth voters angered by deeply entrenched corruption and income inequality. Christine Armario And Joshua Goodman,, "Colombia set for combative presidential runoff with divisions over peace," 28 May 2018 The biggest challenge to America in my opinion is income inequality. CBS News, "Why billionaire Ken Langone was inspired to write "I Love Capitalism!"," 17 May 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for inequality

Middle English inequalite, from Latin inaequalitat-, inaequalitas, from inaequalis unequal, from in- + aequalis equal

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1 Dec 2018

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The first known use of inequality was in the 15th century

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English Language Learners Definition of inequality

: an unfair situation in which some people have more rights or better opportunities than other people


in·​equal·​i·​ty | \ˌi-ni-ˈkwä-lə-tē \
plural inequalities

Kids Definition of inequality

: the quality of being unequal or uneven : lack of equality The laws are aimed to end educational inequality.

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More from Merriam-Webster on inequality

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with inequality

Spanish Central: Translation of inequality

Nglish: Translation of inequality for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of inequality for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about inequality

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