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inconsistent

[in-kuh n-sis-tuh nt] /ˌɪn kənˈsɪs tənt/
adjective
1.
lacking in harmony between the different parts or elements; self-contradictory:
an inconsistent story.
2.
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.
3.
not consistent in principles, conduct, etc.:
He's so inconsistent we never know if he'll be kind or cruel.
4.
acting at variance with professed principles.
5.
Logic. incompatible (def 4b).
Origin
1640-1650
1640-50; in-3 + consistent
Related forms
inconsistently, adverb
Can be confused
incontinent, inconsistent (see synonym study at the current entry)
Synonyms
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 Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for inconsistent
  • We're not easily swayed, overly emotional, or wildly inconsistent.
  • Similarly, the growth is inconsistent with the contribution of fiscal stimulus which has turned negative lately.
  • Winds were both dangerously high and maddeningly inconsistent.
  • Again, the answer is complicated by the inconsistent quality of the available information.
  • The setback highlights the problems created by inconsistent funding for energy research.
  • And unlike wind energy, dependent on inconsistent gusts, this technology is as predictable as the tides.
  • The article is inconsistent in the way that rates are calculated.
  • Grinder, who was notoriously inconsistent in her re-telling of the story.
  • It wasn't the fuzzy video or inconsistent sound quality, either.
  • The proposal is intended to achieve two inconsistent objectives.
British Dictionary definitions for inconsistent

inconsistent

/ˌɪnkənˈsɪstənt/
adjective
1.
lacking in consistency, agreement, or compatibility; at variance
2.
containing contradictory elements
3.
irregular or fickle in behaviour or mood
4.
(maths) Also incompatible. (of two or more equations) not having one common set of values of the variables: x + 2y = 5 and x + 2y = 6 are inconsistent
5.
(logic) (of a set of propositions) enabling an explicit contradiction to be validly derived
Derived Forms
inconsistently, adverb
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
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Word Origin and History for inconsistent
adj.

1640s, "not agreeing in substance or form," from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + consistent. Related: Inconsistently.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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