Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. One whose domicile lies at an appreciable distance from his or her place of business.
  • n. A value far from most others in a set of data: "Outliers make statistical analyses difficult” ( Harvey Motulsky).
  • n. Geology A portion of stratified rock separated from a main formation by erosion.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A person or thing away from others or outside its proper place.
  • n. A part of a formation separated from the rest of the formation by erosion.
  • n. A value in a statistical sample which does not fit a pattern that describes most other data points; specifically, a value that lies 1.5 IQR beyond the upper or lower quartile.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One who does not live where his office, or business, or estate, is.
  • n. That which lies, or is, away from the main body.
  • n. A part of a rock or stratum lying without, or beyond, the main body, from which it has been separated by denudation.
  • n. A datum that lies significantly beyond the main cluster of data points on a graph or diagram; -- suggestive of an error in measurement.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. One who does not reside in the place with which his office or duty connects him.
  • n. An outsider.
  • n. A part lying without or beyond the main body; an isolated or outlying part; specifically, in geology, a part of a stratum or group of strata, or a mass of rock of any kind, which has been left behind while that part of the formation by which it was originally surrounded, and to which it belonged, has been removed by denudation.
  • n. In zoology, that which is outlying, subtypical, or aberrant, as a genus or family of animals.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a person who lives away from his place of work
  • n. an extreme deviation from the mean

Etymologies

From outlie +‎ -er. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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Comments

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  • See citation on pailliard.

    September 6, 2008

  • Not to be confused with an outliar, which like an outhouse, is an small shack outside of the house where people go to tell lies.

    February 4, 2007

  • In statistics, an outlier is a single observation "far away" from the rest of the data.

    February 3, 2007

  • Used extensively in Frazier's book "Cold Mountain".

    January 12, 2007