1 of 2


mis·​match ˈmis-ˌmach How to pronounce mismatch (audio)
plural mismatches
: a faulty or unsuitable match
New England plays St. Louis in Super Bowl XXXVI this evening, and on the face of it, this game is a mismatch, a blowout waiting to happen.William C. Rhoden
She is blood type O, and the donor heart and lungs she received in the first operation were blood type A. That mismatch triggered rejection by her immune system.Dan Vergano


2 of 2


mis·​match ˌmis-ˈmach How to pronounce mismatch (audio)
mismatched; mismatching

transitive verb

: to match (two people or things) wrongly or unsuitably
Let's say that you are afraid of boring your audience. One cause is mismatching the audience's need and the level of detail you provide.Liz Reyer

Examples of mismatch in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Especially at this time of year, when mismatches on the power play — at 6-foot-4, Nichushkin blots out the sun as well as opposing goalies’ vision — can often mean the difference between parades and penitence. Sean Keeler, The Denver Post, 14 May 2024 Still, there’s a significant mismatch between water and salt cycles (according to Stedmon, the latter is thousands of times slower). Cody Cottier, Discover Magazine, 9 May 2024 Given today's low birthrates, that mismatch is not expected to change for decades, although a surge in immigration helps. Scott Horsley, NPR, 6 May 2024 The mismatch between the post-COVID demand for flights and the aircraft supply pipeline is bad news for travelers as well as airlines. David McHugh, Fortune Europe, 6 May 2024 The result is an odd mismatch between the show itself — inert, straight-faced — and the isolated bits of Wolfe-ian absurdity that survive. Alison Herman, Variety, 2 May 2024 The bigger the mismatch between donor and recipient, the more likely this was to happen. Sarah Zhang, The Atlantic, 18 Apr. 2024 The style the Kings (and Nuggets) play contrasts with the Lakers, who rely heavily on LeBron James and Anthony Davis to create mismatches and advantages with their supreme one-on-one edges. Dan Woike, Los Angeles Times, 12 Mar. 2024 The reality is stark: While the job market burgeons with opportunities, a mismatch in skills leaves many positions unfilled, even in the face of high or rising unemployment. Miglė Petrauskaitė, Fortune, 10 Apr. 2024
Every single day of the last three months, these mismatched Democratic lawmakers in the House raised, on average, more than $12,000 in hard dollars for their campaign, according to a new TIME analysis of records filed to the Federal Election Commission this week. Philip Elliott, TIME, 19 Apr. 2024 Election staff will later process any ballots that require more investigation and follow-up, such as those with missing or mismatched signatures. Sasha Hupka, The Arizona Republic, 19 Mar. 2024 In this way, scientists observed that brain activity in 14 of the 18 dogs was different when they were shown an object that matched with the word, compared to one that mismatched. Issy Ronald, CNN, 1 Apr. 2024 She gamely plays the part of the glamorous burgeoning pop star, in a fur-print puffer jacket, bra top and mismatched gold hoops that complement the edginess of her eyebrow slit. Heran Mamo, Billboard, 28 Mar. 2024 On her arms were mismatched blue and beige sleeve covers adorned with cows. Daisuke Wakabayashi, New York Times, 24 Mar. 2024 With These Wall Frames Display a collection of matching (or mismatched) pictures with these wall frames. Taylor Gumm, Rolling Stone, 7 Feb. 2024 Fanatics, which has taken over operations of the online NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL fan shops over the last decade, has been ridiculed by fans, at times for mismatching one team’s font on another’s jersey. Michael Nowels, The Mercury News, 2 Feb. 2024 Get rid of scratched broiling pans and mismatched pots and choose a new, gleaming set. Charlotte Observer, 30 Jan. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'mismatch.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


1606, in the meaning defined above


1582, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of mismatch was in 1582

Dictionary Entries Near mismatch

Cite this Entry

“Mismatch.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mismatch. Accessed 22 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


: to match unsuitably or badly
mismatch noun

More from Merriam-Webster on mismatch

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!