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

  • adj. Deviating from the normal or common order, form, or rule.
  • adj. Equivocal, as in classification or nature.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Deviating from the normal; aberrant or abnormal.
  • adj. Of uncertain or unknown categorization.
  • adj. Having anomalies.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Deviating from a general rule, method, or analogy; abnormal; irregular.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Deviating from a general rule, method, or analogy; irregular; abnormal: as, an anomalous character; an anomalous pronunciation.
  • Synonyms Unusual, singular, peculiar, odd, exceptional, unaccountable. See irregular.

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

  • adj. deviating from the general or common order or type


From Late Latin anōmalos, from Greek, uneven : probably from an-, not; see a-1 + homalos, even (from homos, same; see sem-1 in Indo-European roots).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Late Latin anomalus (Wiktionary)


  • The anomalous is more surprising – thus often a lot more interesting – than the normal and mundane.

    Are Changes Brewing and How Does the Mind Fit In?

  • There's also the more self-conscious and deliberate indecision where the anomalous is explicable as an artifice of the nomology of narrative itself, a product of those "laws of reality" that cover the use of extended metaphor in fiction.

    Archive 2008-01-01

  • "Contact button," she muttered to herself, recalling the anomalous appearance of one on Noneth's hood.

    the ship who sang

  • The same thoroughly well-grounded sagacity and comprehensive appreciation of human life is shown in the treatment of what we may call anomalous characters.

    Criticisms and Interpretations. V. Walter Bagehot on the Waverley Novels

  • After that, Astral head honcho Ian Greenberg - described as an anomalous "tall Jew" by the spunky Ms. Essman - introduced the party's musical guest by mispronouncing the last name of Chantal Kreviazuk, the successful Winnipeg-born chanteuse.

    The Globe and Mail - Home RSS feed

  • "The legal status of the Vatican as an independent state may be regarded by some as ridiculous and it can be described as anomalous but it is nevertheless a legal fact and it is frankly fatuous for a lawyer to suggest otherwise."

    New Humanist Blog

  • On April 6, doctors set out to correct a rare condition called anomalous origin of the right coronary artery.

    Denver Post: News: Breaking: Local

  • These are: changing default credentials; avoiding shared credentials; reviewing user accounts; employing application testing and code review; patching comprehensively; assuring HR uses effective termination procedures; enabling application logs and monitoring them; and defining "suspicious" and "anomalous" - be prepared to defend against and detect very determined, well-funded, skilled and targeted attacks.

    Media Buyer Planner

  • "anomalous" -- it was working, and that was the main thing.

    Boys' Book of Famous Soldiers

  • And mysteries are sometimes written to have very understated fantastical or "anomalous" elements, as in some of the earlier Rebus books by Ian Rankin or a couple of Peter Robinson's (Wednesday's Child comes to mind).

    MIND MELD: Non-Genre Books for Genre Readers


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  • An anomalous state of things may justify individuals; perhaps a generation: but an anomaly can never become a general law for permanent action.

    Wilfrid Philip Ward, Problems and Persons

    November 19, 2011