Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary


adjective nor·mal \ˈnȯr-məl\

Simple Definition of normal

  • : usual or ordinary : not strange

  • : mentally and physically healthy

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of normal

  1. 1 :  perpendicular; especially :  perpendicular to a tangent at a point of tangency

  2. 2 a :  according with, constituting, or not deviating from a norm, rule, or principle b :  conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern

  3. 3 :  occurring naturally <normal immunity>

  4. 4 a :  of, relating to, or characterized by average intelligence or development b :  free from mental disorder :  sane

  5. 5 a of a solution :  having a concentration of one gram equivalent of solute per liter b :  containing neither basic hydroxyl nor acid hydrogen <normal silver phosphate> c :  not associated <normal molecules> d :  having a straight-chain structure <normal butyl alcohol>

  6. 6 of a subgroup :  having the property that every coset produced by operating on the left by a given element is equal to the coset produced by operating on the right by the same element

  7. 7 :  relating to, involving, or being a normal curve or normal distribution <normal approximation to the binomial distribution>

  8. 8 of a matrix :  having the property of commutativity under multiplication by the transpose of the matrix each of whose elements is a conjugate complex number with respect to the corresponding element of the given matrix

normality play \nȯr-ˈma-lə-tē\ noun
normally play \ˈnȯr-mə-lē\ adverb

Examples of normal in a sentence

  1. He had a normal childhood.

  2. These little setbacks are a normal part of life.

  3. a potato twice as big as normal size

  4. Despite her illness, she was able to lead a normal life.

  5. They had a normal, healthy baby.

  6. Normal people don't react that way.

Origin of normal

Latin normalis, from norma

First Known Use: circa 1696

Synonym Discussion of normal

regular, normal, typical, natural mean being of the sort or kind that is expected as usual, ordinary, or average. regular stresses conformity to a rule, standard, or pattern <the club's regular monthly meeting>. normal implies lack of deviation from what has been discovered or established as the most usual or expected <normal behavior for a two-year-old>. typical implies showing all important traits of a type, class, or group and may suggest lack of strong individuality <a typical small town>. natural applies to what conforms to a thing's essential nature, function, or mode of being <the natural love of a mother for her child>.

Rhymes with normal



noun nor·mal

Simple Definition of normal

  • : the usual or expected state, level, amount, etc.

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of normal

  1. 1 a :  a normal line b :  the portion of a normal line to a plane curve between the curve and the x-axis

  2. 2 :  one that is normal

  3. 3 :  a form or state regarded as the norm :  standard

Examples of normal in a sentence

  1. Your blood pressure is higher than normal.

  2. Let's hope everything returns to normal soon.

  3. I'm glad that things are back to normal.

  4. Oil prices are above normal.

Circa 1738

First Known Use of normal

circa 1738


geographical name Nor·mal \ˈnȯr-məl\

Definition of Normal

  1. town cen Illinois N of Bloomington pop 52,497

NORMAL Defined for Kids



adjective nor·mal \ˈnȯr-məl\

Definition of normal for Students

  1. 1 :  of the regular or usual kind <a normal day>

  2. 2 :  healthy in body or mind <a normal baby boy>

normally adverb

History for normal

People who work with wood use something called a square to make and check right angles. The English word normal came from the Latin word for this kind of square, norma, which also meant “standard” or “pattern.” Normal at first meant “forming a right angle.” Later normal came to mean “by a rule or pattern” or “regular.”



noun nor·mal

Definition of normal for Students

  1. :  the usual form, state, level, or amount :  average <After the County Fair, life in Centerburg eases itself back to normal. — Robert McCloskey, Homer Price>

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up normal? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a smart aleck

Get Word of the Day daily email!


Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!


Which of these is a synonym of unctuous?

prompt oily maudlin angry
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.