in·​equal·​i·​ty ˌi-ni-ˈkwä-lə-tē How to pronounce inequality (audio)
: the quality of being unequal or uneven: such as
: social disparity
: disparity of distribution or opportunity
: lack of evenness
: the condition of being variable : changeableness
: an instance of being unequal
: 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)

Example Sentences

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.
Recent Examples on the Web With the heightened sensitivity toward confronting racial and gender inequality, many Hollywood screenwriters are turning these issues into major story lines, even if that means sometimes exaggerating the details. Nicole Sperling, New York Times, 14 Jan. 2023 Beyond acting, Perry is passionate about social justice, and created his own movement, Dance for Justice, in 2020 to raise awareness about racial inequality. Ellise Shafer, Variety, 13 Jan. 2023 Supporters around the country celebrated Wooden and the passage of his legacy program, heralding Connecticut as a leader in addressing racial inequality. Hartford Courant, 2 Jan. 2023 Ardent abolitionists who abandoned their Southern roots in favor of the more sympathetic streets of Philadelphia, the sisters abhorred slavery and racial inequality. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian Magazine, 29 Nov. 2022 Experts broadly agree that racial inequality is appropriate and essential to discuss with young students, and there is consensus that students must understand evolution to engage with important current issues in science and technology. Daniel Silver, Time, 4 Nov. 2022 And zooming out, most sheriffs think racial inequality is a problem that’s been solved. USA Today, 3 Nov. 2022 Racial inequality is just as visible in many homes, where women employed to cook, clean and nanny are often dark-skinned or Indigenous. Los Angeles Times, 20 Oct. 2022 Organ sales present a stark and literal embodiment of inequality. WIRED, 5 Jan. 2023 See More

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.

Word History


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

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near inequality

Cite this Entry

“Inequality.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition


in·​equal·​i·​ty ˌin-i-ˈkwäl-ət-ē How to pronounce inequality (audio)
plural inequalities
: the quality of being unequal
: an instance of being unequal (as an irregularity in a surface)
: a statement in mathematics or logic that two quantities usually separated by a special sign (as <, >, or ≠ respectively meaning "is less than," "is greater than," or "is not equal to") are not equal
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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