in·​iq·​ui·​ty i-ˈni-kwə-tē How to pronounce iniquity (audio)
plural iniquities
: gross injustice : wickedness
: a wicked act or thing : sin

Example Sentences

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 Will responding to the gaffe of the day by demanding a six-step apology usher in an age of justice for all, or an end to iniquity? Jill Lepore, The New Yorker, 7 Nov. 2022 Pinocchio’s flirtations with a career in the circus, or a life of iniquity with Lampwick, are the result of nothing more than pure naivete. David Sims, The Atlantic, 10 Sep. 2022 Their pact of iniquity is with the Billboard charts and T-shirt sales. Bob Larsen, SPIN, 12 Feb. 2022 Las Vegas and Atlantic City were known as dens of iniquity. Matthew Continetti, National Review, 12 Feb. 2022 Sparafucile’s den of iniquity—both generically impoverished, though the latter has a bar setup in the center. Heidi Waleson, WSJ, 3 Jan. 2022 Parents and teachers stepped up local efforts to quash gaming, lest children wind up in one of these dens of digital iniquity. Matt Alt, The New Yorker, 14 Dec. 2021 Don’t even get Bad Bunny started on the iniquity of purses. Allure, 13 Oct. 2021 This is the way of this world in the day of that other’s; make yourselves friends by means of the riches of iniquity, for the wealth of the self is the health of the self exchanged. Cameron Hilditch, National Review, 3 July 2021 See More

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.

Word History


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

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near iniquity

Cite this Entry

“Iniquity.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition


in·​iq·​ui·​ty in-ˈik-wət-ē How to pronounce iniquity (audio)
plural iniquities
: complete injustice or wickedness
: something that is unjust or wicked : sin

More from Merriam-Webster on iniquity

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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