What does inconsistent mean?

Definitions for inconsistent
ˌɪn kənˈsɪs təntin·con·sis·tent

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word inconsistent.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. inconsistentadjective

    displaying a lack of consistency

    "inconsistent statements cannot both be true at the same time"; "inconsistent with the roadmap"

  2. inconsistentadjective

    not capable of being made consistent or harmonious

    "inconsistent accounts"

  3. discrepant, inconsistentadjective

    not in agreement


  1. inconsistentadjective

    not consistent

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Inconsistentadjective

    Etymology: in and consistent.

    Finding no kind of compliance, but sharp protestations against the demands, as inconsistent with conscience, justice, or religion, the conference broke off. Edward Hyde.

    Compositions of this nature, when thus restrained, shew that wisdom and virtue are far from being inconsistent with politeness and good humour. Joseph Addison, Freeholder.

    The idea of an infinite space or duration is very obscure and confused, because it is made up of two parts very different, if not inconsistent. John Locke.


  1. inconsistent

    In classical deductive logic, a consistent theory is one that does not lead to a logical contradiction. The lack of contradiction can be defined in either semantic or syntactic terms. The semantic definition states that a theory is consistent if it has a model, i.e., there exists an interpretation under which all formulas in the theory are true. This is the sense used in traditional Aristotelian logic, although in contemporary mathematical logic the term satisfiable is used instead. The syntactic definition states a theory T {\displaystyle T} is consistent if there is no formula φ {\displaystyle \varphi } such that both φ {\displaystyle \varphi } and its negation ¬ φ {\displaystyle \lnot \varphi } are elements of the set of consequences of T {\displaystyle T} . Let A {\displaystyle A} be a set of closed sentences (informally "axioms") and ⟨ A ⟩ {\displaystyle \langle A\rangle } the set of closed sentences provable from A {\displaystyle A} under some (specified, possibly implicitly) formal deductive system. The set of axioms A {\displaystyle A} is consistent when φ , ¬ φ ∈ ⟨ A ⟩ {\displaystyle \varphi ,\lnot \varphi \in \langle A\rangle } for no formula φ {\displaystyle \varphi } .If there exists a deductive system for which these semantic and syntactic definitions are equivalent for any theory formulated in a particular deductive logic, the logic is called complete. The completeness of the sentential calculus was proved by Paul Bernays in 1918 and Emil Post in 1921, while the completeness of predicate calculus was proved by Kurt Gödel in 1930, and consistency proofs for arithmetics restricted with respect to the induction axiom schema were proved by Ackermann (1924), von Neumann (1927) and Herbrand (1931). Stronger logics, such as second-order logic, are not complete. A consistency proof is a mathematical proof that a particular theory is consistent. The early development of mathematical proof theory was driven by the desire to provide finitary consistency proofs for all of mathematics as part of Hilbert's program. Hilbert's program was strongly impacted by the incompleteness theorems, which showed that sufficiently strong proof theories cannot prove their own consistency (provided that they are in fact consistent). Although consistency can be proved by means of model theory, it is often done in a purely syntactical way, without any need to reference some model of the logic. The cut-elimination (or equivalently the normalization of the underlying calculus if there is one) implies the consistency of the calculus: since there is no cut-free proof of falsity, there is no contradiction in general.


  1. inconsistent

    Inconsistent broadly refers to the state of lacking stability in behavior, attitude, quality, performance, or any other characteristic. It describes a lack of continuity, contradictions, and fluctuations, not sticking to the same rules or principles throughout. It can refer to a lack of logical connection or coherence, where some aspects or elements do not match or align with others.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Inconsistentadjective

    not consistent; showing inconsistency; irreconcilable; discordant; at variance, esp. as regards character, sentiment, or action; incompatible; incongruous; contradictory

  2. Inconsistentadjective

    not exhibiting uniformity of sentiment, steadiness to principle, etc.; unequal; fickle; changeable

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Inconsistent

    in-kon-sist′ent, adj. not consistent: not suitable or agreeing with: intrinsically incompatible: self-contradictory: changeable, fickle.—ns. Inconsist′ence, Inconsist′ency.—adv. Inconsist′ently.

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  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of inconsistent in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of inconsistent in Pythagorean Numerology is: 8

Examples of inconsistent in a Sentence

  1. Barry Owens:

    This behavior is inconsistent with the values, policies, and practices of this organization.

  2. Seneca:

    Let tears flow of their own accord their flowing is not inconsistent with inward peace and harmony.

  3. Mo Brooks:

    Mrs. Britt is doing her best to masquerade as something she clearly is not … If you look at her past track record, it is very inconsistent with those of us who support the MAGA agenda.

  4. Harriet Martineau:

    Fidelity to conscience is inconsistent with retiring modesty. If it be so, let the modesty succumb. It can be only a false modesty which can be thus endangered.

  5. Dev Stahlkopf:

    Based on the limited information available to us in this case, we feel the secrecy order was too broadly drawn and is inconsistent with the U.S. government's policy that secrecy orders be narrowly tailored.

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"inconsistent." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 16 Apr. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/inconsistent>.

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