- lacking in harmony between the different parts or elements; self-contradictory: an inconsistent story.
- lacking agreement, as one thing with another or two or more things in relation to each other; at variance: a summary that is inconsistent with the previously stated facts.
- not consistent in principles, conduct, etc.: He's so inconsistent we never know if he'll be kind or cruel.
- acting at variance with professed principles.
- Logic. incompatible(def 4b).
Origin of inconsistent
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
1. incoherent. 2. discrepant, disagreeing, irreconcilable. Inconsistent, incompatible, incongruous refer to things that are out of keeping with each other. That which is inconsistent involves variance, discrepancy, or even contradiction, especially from the point of view of truth, reason, or logic: His actions are inconsistent with his statements. Incompatible implies incapability of close association or harmonious relationship, as from differences of nature, character, temperament, and the like: actions incompatible with honesty of purpose; qualities that make two people incompatible. Something that is incongruous is inappropriate or out of keeping, often to the point of being ridiculous or absurd: Incongruous characters or situations frequently provide a basis for comedy.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for inconsistent
In response, voters thought voting for Madison was inconsistent with their thirst for free booze.Founding Fathers Loved Drunk Voters
November 1, 2014
The burden on plaintiffs in wrongful birth cases “is unique, and is inconsistent with other types of malpractice cases,” she said.Parents Sue for 'Wrongful Birth'
August 17, 2014
As in any other area of law, though, such a belief is not inconsistent with a belief that people may be unjustly accused.Is It Wrong for Parents to Lock Up Their Disabled Kids?
August 4, 2014
For weeks the information coming out of Kuala Lumpur was, at best, inconsistent and contradictory and, at worst, tainted.Who Gagged the Search for MH370?
June 22, 2014
Point of view is inconsistent and Berg employs enough obvious filmic artifice to keep reminding us we are watching dramatization.The Myth of Reality in ‘Lone Survivor’
January 19, 2014
Neither is politeness at all inconsistent with thorough familiarity.Weighed and Wanting
By an inconsistent twist of fate he was known as Honest John.Thoroughbreds
W. A. Fraser
Real philanthropy is as inconsistent with exploitation as with cannibalism.Freeland
But this beautiful and—shall I say it—inconsistent woman repelled me.The Room in the Dragon Volant
J. Sheridan LeFanu
Women retain rights which are inconsistent with father-rule.The Truth About Woman
C. Gasquoine Hartley
- lacking in consistency, agreement, or compatibility; at variance
- containing contradictory elements
- irregular or fickle in behaviour or mood
- Also: incompatible maths (of two or more equations) not having one common set of values of the variables: x + 2 y = 5 and x + 2 y = 6 are inconsistent
- logic (of a set of propositions) enabling an explicit contradiction to be validly derived
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 inconsistent
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper