in·​iq·​ui·​ty | \ i-ˈni-kwə-tē How to pronounce iniquity (audio) \
plural iniquities

Definition of iniquity

1 : gross injustice : wickedness
2 : a wicked act or thing : sin

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Examples of iniquity in a Sentence

the use of illegal narcotics is not only a destroyer of personal health but also an iniquity that undermines our society a nation still struggling with the aftereffects of the iniquity of slavery
Recent Examples on the Web Many of the cases Vance moved to dismiss dated to the 1970s and 1980s, when New York waged a war against prostitution in an effort to clean up its image as a center of iniquity and vice., "Manhattan to stop prosecuting prostitution, part of nationwide shift," 21 Apr. 2021 In 2021, by contrast, the past — that seemingly inexhaustible reservoir of knowledge, culture and human achievement — is too often portrayed as little better than a vile sink of iniquity. Washington Post, "Remember when high culture was revered? Louis Menand’s ‘The Free World’ made me nostalgic.," 21 Apr. 2021 New limited series Black Narcissus (airing in the UK on BBC One) will follow one convent’s intense struggle to maintain its sanctitude amidst a community that tests it devotion to God, carefully toeing the line between piety and iniquity. Ineye Komonibo,, "The Nuns Are Out Of Control In This Twisted New Black Narcissus Remake," 23 Sep. 2020 The question then was: Where would people go for their fix of iniquity? Mike Scott,, "How a 1920s Bourbon Street nightclub called Maxime forever transformed the French Quarter," 15 Sep. 2020 The house long has been typecast as a den of iniquity, a fantasy hideout for rappers like Snoop Dogg and G-Eazy in their music videos or pornographer Jackie Treehorn in The Big Lebowski. Gary Baum, The Hollywood Reporter, "The Peculiar Life of the Man in the 'Big Lebowski' House: An NBA Superfan’s Wild L.A. Mansion," 12 Mar. 2020 The iniquity of what was done to Seberg, harrying her into a breakdown, is beyond dispute; but there’s a problem with Andrews’s movie. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, "The Precarious Descent of “Seberg”," 6 Dec. 2019 The 8,000-square-foot former den of iniquity has been running (quietly) since early September, but Club Pink Pussycat will hold an official grand opening party Nov. 27. Madeleine Marr,, "Miami’s infamous pink strip club just quietly reopened after almost a decade," 31 Oct. 2019 The Bible talks about the mystery of iniquity or in some versions the spirit of lawlessness. The Rev. Mike Taylor,, "Taylor: The mystery of iniquity in today’s world and the coming spiritual ‘reset’," 23 Aug. 2019

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for iniquity

Middle English iniquite, from Anglo-French iniquité, from Latin iniquitat-, iniquitas, from iniquus uneven, from in- + aequus equal

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Time Traveler for iniquity

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The first known use of iniquity was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

28 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Iniquity.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for iniquity



English Language Learners Definition of iniquity

: the quality of being unfair or evil
: something that is unfair or evil


in·​iq·​ui·​ty | \ i-ˈnik-wə-tē How to pronounce iniquity (audio) \
plural iniquities

Kids Definition of iniquity

: an evil or unfair act

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