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From Middle English inequalite, from Old French inequalité, from Medieval Latin inaequālitās, from Latin inaequālis (unequal), from in- (not) + aequālis (equal).

Morphologically inequal +‎ -ity and in- +‎ equality.


  • (Received Pronunciation) enPR: ĭnĭkwŏl'ĭtē, IPA(key): /ˌɪn.ɪˈkwɒl.ɪ.ti/
    • (file)
  • (US) enPR: ĭn-ĭʹkwŏ-lĭ-tē IPA(key): /ˌɪn.ɪˈkwɑ.lɪ.ti/, [ˌɪn.ɪˈkwɑ.lɪ.ɾi]


inequality (countable and uncountable, plural inequalities)

  1. An unfair, not equal, state.
    • 2013 May 17, George Monbiot, “Money just makes the rich suffer”, in The Guardian Weekly[1], volume 188, number 23, page 19:
      In order to grant the rich these pleasures, the social contract is reconfigured. []   The public realm is privatised, the regulations restraining the ultra–wealthy and the companies they control are abandoned, and Edwardian levels of inequality are almost fetishised.
    The inequality in living standards led to a civil war as the have nots rebelled.
  2. (mathematics) A statement that of two quantities one is specifically less than (or greater than) another. Symbol: or or or or , as appropriate.
    The inequality is less than , together with that , allows us to deduce the inequality .




See also[edit]