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Discrepancy Definition – Meaning and Usage In A Sentence

Discrepancy Definition – Meaning and Usage In A Sentence

Let's say you are an event planner required to develop a budget for an upcoming event. However, the funds released do not match the figures you had in your budget. The best way to explain this situation to your benefactor is to say there is a discrepancy between the budget and the money sent; let's now reveal the discrepancy definition.

"Discrepancy" refers to a difference in quantities, conditions or figures. Variation, mismatch, deviation, or disparity best describe discrepancy. Some time back, the word meant "a quality or state of being in conflict or disagreement arising from an unacceptable inconsistency."

For many English language learners, vocabularies are not always easy to grasp. That said, learning a word like discrepancy is not just about memorizing the word; it's about understanding what it means and why it's used in the respective context. Luckily, this article exhausts everything about discrepancy definition, meaning, and usage.

woman read couchWhat is the Definition of Discrepancy?

The word discrepancy is the noun version of the word discrepant describing a form or an instance of disagreement or divergence. You may also define the word as the difference between things that should be identical.

This definition is commonly used in financial situations where figures that should match end up different. However, the definition is also applicable in non-financial situations to explain a contrast of ideas or sentiments.

Here are some usage examples:

  • The company hid the discrepancy from shareholders' accounts for years, but the depression exposed them.
  • Brian has always been aware of the discrepancy in the totals, but since it worked in his favor, he kept it a secret.
  • Something as minor as a mathematical discrepancy can result in different figures in some areas.

Discrepancy When Used to Mean Difference in Thoughts and Actions

The word discrepancy also refers to an instance of difference or an inconsistency. The word applies in both singular and plural versions. You may also use variance, incongruity, variation, or contrariety as their synonyms.

Whenever the word discrepancy comes up, there's usually a difference in random thoughts or sentiments. The term is also applicable in cases where there is a conflict of interest that nobody anticipated. For instance, a discrepancy example is when someone is doing something different from what you had agreed on.

Here are some examples in sentences:

  • Harry was called into the manager's office earlier when the company account displayed a discrepancy.
  • The lecturer said that she had given us thirty days to sort out the discrepancy in our assignment or fail the class.
  • If there is one thing every investor on the show "Shark Tank" hates, it is finding a discrepancy in your sales figures.

What is the Meaning of Discrepancy?

Another meaning of the word discrepancy is "an event or an action deviating from the norm or its expected result."

This word is best suited for illustrating situations that come about unexpectedly and might end up causing a challenge or a disagreement. If a plan was to play out in a certain way but, in the process, ends up taking a different turn, we can describe that as "a discrepancy."

Here are some sentences to look at:

  • The restructuring process at the company had a discrepancy due to the challenges brought about by COVID-19.
  • The government could not raise funds for infrastructure improvement due to an unforeseen discrepancy.
  • The discrepancy brought about by Ukraine and Russia has forced Roman Abramovich to sell Chelsea Football Club.

What's The Difference Between Discrepancy and Disparity? 

The words discrepancy and disparity might have somewhat similar meanings. However, these words describe different things, though they can still apply as synonyms in some contexts. "Discrepancy" is a disagreement caused by two things that should be identical but aren't.

The word disparity means a significant change between two things. Whereas discrepancy happens in things that ought to be identical, disparity exists when there is a substantial difference between measurable items such as drinks. Therefore these two words cannot be the same.

Is Discrepancy an Error? 

An error is an event, action, or result that is inaccurate. An error in other contexts means something wrong or a mistake. However, a discrepancy is a difference or an inconsistency; thus, the two words have some difference in meaning. 

In some contexts, a discrepancy is not an error; even though the variation in output is clear, the results show some positive progress. However, in the case of math tests, a discrepancy in the final answers is an error. 

In What Fields Can You Use the Word Discrepancy?

The word discrepancy has a variety of applications that lean mainly toward the mathematical contexts. Let's describe more on that below. 

What is Discrepancy Measure? It is a change or deviation from a uniform distribution's expected or intended result.

What is Discrepancy in Surveying? A discrepancy is the recorded difference between several measured values of the same quantity in the field. However, with these measurements, it's important to note that they are never identical, regardless of the tools used to measure.

What is Discrepancy in Physics? It is the variation or difference between the measured value and the expected value. Distinctions are generally higher when the measurements are not correct.

How to Use Discrepancy in a Sentence

Besides its plural form, the word discrepancy is generally used in the form of nouns, adjectives, and adverbs. Since we've covered the word as a noun, we'll be looking at the different forms below:

As an Adjective

"Discrepancy" changes to "discrepant" when used as an adjective. The word describes someone or something showing conflicting or inconsistent results.

Here are some examples of discrepant sentences:

  • Despite the discrepant results, lemon, ginger, and honey tea was one of the remedies believed to remedy COVID-19.
  • Experts and analysts predicted that Andrew would have discrepant results this season, but he proved them wrong.

As an Adverb 

The word discrepantly is formed when you change the word discrepancy into an adverb. The new word illustrates someone doing something in a conflicting way.

Here are example sentences:

  • The exam results showed twenty students discrepantly scored high marks sparking rumors of cheating.
  • Herbert has been discrepantly hiding his medical tests since he came back from his regular checkups.

10 Examples of Discrepancy in a Sentence

In addition to learning the uses of the new word, we've put together a series of sentences to help you understand the word better. Keep reading!

  1. The manager could not account for the discrepancy in the sales figures in the last six years leading to his arrest.
  2. I don't understand the discrepancy in the price of the flat-screen TVs because they're the exact model and have identical features.
  3. The only reason why Becky got acquitted of murder was a severe discrepancy in the evidence against her.
  4. I cannot explain the discrepancy between Paul Pogba's performances in football clubs and international duties.
  5. Sally was well aware of the discrepancy between her assignment and her final exam grade, but she was not about to tell anyone the reason.
  6. The investigators revealed that the discrepancy is a result of faults in the machines used during data collection.
  7. There was a discrepancy between the results of those who took the vaccine and those given a placebo.
  8. Due to the glaring discrepancy noted in your final submission, we cannot deliberate further on the matter until correction.
  9. Their hyper car posted some discrepant results on the track, indicating that the engine might have been the issue.
  10. The board of directors did not let Derrick explain the reason for the highly discrepant figures shown in his report.

How Do You Spell Discrepancy?

If you reference the International Phonetic Alphabet, the term discrepancy is spelled D.I.S.C.R.E.P.A.N.C.Y. or \ di-ˈskre-pən-sē \.

The word discrepancy might look like a difficult word to spell. However, break it into smaller sounds [ dis] [crep] [an] [cy] for easier spelling.

How Do You Pronounce Discrepancy?

The word discrepancy is accurately pronounced as /dɪsˈkrɛp(ə)nsi/ or duh. skreh. Puhn. see.

How Many Syllables Are In Discrepancy?

"Discrepancy" is an eleven letter word with 4 syllables:

History & Etymology of Discrepancy

In the early 15th century, the word discrepancy was formed out of two Latin words, this meaning "apart off" and creare meaning "to break or crack." The word morphed into this crepantia. Later discrepant or discrepare, which means "a variance or a discordance of facts or sentiments." It changed to an English word in the early 17th century.

Synonyms Of The Word "Discrepancy"

  • Disparity
  • Divergence
  • Dissimilarity
  • Dissonance
  • Distinction
  • Miscalculation

Antonyms Of The Word "Discrepancy"

  • Agreement
  • Alikeness
  • Sameness
  • Similarity
  • Accord

old men grandpa bookWhen Was Discrepancy First Used?

1579 is the most accurate year for the word's first usage.


Are you an English student trying to learn new words to add to your vocabulary? The word discrepancy is a pretty good place to start. While learning new words might take some time, this article on the "discrepancy definition, meaning, and usage" makes the journey to learning this word easy, exciting, and worth it. Hint: there are many ways to learn new words; have a word of the day calendar, learn more about words' synonyms and antonyms, and read books.