noun, plural dis·par·i·ties.

lack of similarity or equality; inequality; difference: a disparity in age; disparity in rank.

Origin of disparity

1545–55; < Middle French desparite < Late Latin disparitās; see dis-1, parity1
Related formsnon·dis·par·i·ty, noun, plural non·dis·par·i·ties.

Synonym study

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for disparity

Contemporary Examples of disparity

Historical Examples of disparity

  • They see the disparity of wealth and poverty, and their hearts are torn with anger and with pity.

  • And the Eumenides there lying express pictorially this disparity.

    Essays, Second Series

    Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • One main cause of this disparity is the smallness of the inns here.

    Glances at Europe

    Horace Greeley

  • But this disparity in their fortunes which had frightened him before now had no fears for him.

  • Taking no account of the Cherub, the disparity of force is sufficiently obvious.

    Admiral Farragut

    A. T. Mahan

British Dictionary definitions for disparity


noun plural -ties

inequality or difference, as in age, rank, wages, etc


Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for disparity

1550s, from Middle French disparité (16c.), from Late Latin disparitatem (nominative disparitas) "inequality," from dis- "not" (see dis-) + paritas "parity" (see parity). Related: Disparities.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper