Definition of inequality in US English:

inequality

noun

  • 1Difference in size, degree, circumstances, etc.; lack of equality.

    ‘social inequality’
    ‘the widening inequalities in income’
    • ‘The underlying cause of growing discontent is the enormous degree of social inequality that has resulted from the introduction of capitalism in the former Soviet Union.’
    • ‘The free market program implemented by successive governments has widened social inequality to an unprecedented degree.’
    • ‘Never for a moment did they realize that the existing structure of society is the breeding ground of inequality, hatred and cruelty.’
    • ‘Under New Labour, not only has inequality of income increased, social mobility has actually decreased.’
    • ‘Gender inequality shapes different experiences of poverty and impacts on women and men's ability to move out of poverty.’
    • ‘If you compare a violent society with a relatively peaceful one, the single biggest difference is income inequality.’
    • ‘Too many hours for some, combined with too few hours for others, can further polarize income inequality, as has occurred in Canada.’
    • ‘She has a particular interest in exploring differing approaches to collectivism and working class resistance to social inequality.’
    • ‘On the contrary, under conditions of growing social inequality, the population at large is seen in a generally hostile manner, as a potential threat to his wealth and privileges.’
    • ‘Our results indicate that cross-country differences in income inequality alone does not explain for much of the variations in child labour worldwide.’
    • ‘In addition, the country is fraught with numerous divisions upon which demagogues can flourish under circumstances of want and inequality.’
    • ‘More generally, of course, economic inequality undermines social cohesion.’
    • ‘In particular we need to focus on ways of building a mutuality of respect across the boundaries of inequality and difference.’
    • ‘Perhaps most important, inequality in the distribution of income and wealth means inequality in political and social power.’
    • ‘The Gini coefficient ranges from 0 to 1 and measures the degree of income inequality.’
    • ‘Democracy shows an independent positive association with health, which remains after adjustment for a country's wealth, its level of inequality, and the size of its public sector.’
    • ‘In other words, the widening gap between pension provision in the public and private sector will not just lead to widening social inequality, it will also become a block to Scotland's economy growth.’
    • ‘However the selection is performed, there will always be a difference or inequality between professional groups.’
    • ‘The authoritarian government of the past exploited inequality among different ethnic groups, suppressing native languages and cultures.’
    • ‘Hostility to the existing political setup is being exacerbated by growing unemployment lines and widening social inequality.’
    imbalance, inequity, unevenness, disproportion, inconsistency, variation, variability
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1archaic Lack of smoothness or regularity in a surface.
      ‘the inequality of the ground hindered their footing’
    2. 1.2Mathematics The relation between two expressions that are not equal, employing a sign such as ≠ “not equal to,” > “greater than,” or < “less than.”.
    3. 1.3Mathematics A symbolic expression of the fact that two quantities are not equal.
      • ‘He also studied infinite series, the gamma function and inequalities for convex functions.’
      • ‘In fact he is remembered for Farkas theorem which is used in linear programming and also for his work on linear inequalities.’
      • ‘He showed that Bell's inequalities were violated and so the quantum interpretation held rather than the classical one.’
      • ‘He studied inequalities and geometry and measure theory, particularly working in this area with Besicovitch.’
      • ‘His early work was on number theory and he wrote on Diophantine inequalities and the geometry of numbers.’

Origin

Late Middle English: from Old French inequalite, or from Latin inaequalitas, from in- ‘not’ + aequalis (see equal).

Pronunciation

inequality

/ˌinəˈkwälədē//ˌɪnəˈkwɑlədi/