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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  • adjective: not normal

    According to those who do not believe in climate change, the extreme weather over the last five years is simply anomalous—daily temperatures should return to their old averages, they believe.

    October 11, 2016

  • 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