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

aberration

play
noun ab·er·ra·tion \ˌa-bə-ˈrā-shən\

Simple Definition of aberration

  • : something (such as a problem or a type of behavior) that is unusual or unexpected

Full Definition of aberration

  1. 1 :  the fact or an instance of deviating or being aberrant especially from a moral standard or normal state

  2. 2 :  failure of a mirror, refracting surface, or lens to produce exact point-to-point correspondence between an object and its image

  3. 3 :  unsoundness or disorder of the mind

  4. 4 :  a small periodic change of apparent position in celestial bodies due to the combined effect of the motion of light and the motion of the observer

  5. 5 :  an aberrant individual

ab·er·ra·tion·al play \-shnəl, -shə-nəl\ adjective

Examples of aberration

  1. Recently geneticists have taken a closer look at a genetic aberration previously considered rare … . The genes may be perfectly normal, yet there is a shortage or surplus of DNA sequences that may play a role in diseases that defy straightforward genetic patterns … —Melinda Wenner, Scientific American, June 2009

  2. He did hit five homers for Texas in 1987, but that was an aberration. In no other major league season has he hit more than three, and last season he actually came up with a goose egg. —E.M. Swift, Sports Illustrated, 5 Apr. 1989

  3. Gilliard's studies of numerous bird of paradise species brought them from the realm of exotic aberrations to the forefront of sociobiology. —Jared M. Diamond, Nature, 24-30 Sept. 1981

  4. For her, such a low grade on an exam was an aberration.

  5. a study of sexual aberration



Origin of aberration

Latin aberrare (see 1aberrant)


First Known Use: 1594

Rhymes with aberration

abdication, abjuration, abnegation, abrogation, acceptation, acclamation, accusation, activation, adaptation, adjuration, admiration, adoration, adulation, adumbration, affectation, affirmation, aggravation, aggregation, agitation, allegation, allocation, amputation, alteration, altercation, animation, annexation, annotation, appellation, application, approbation, arbitration, arrogation, aspiration, assignation, attestation, augmentation, automation, aviation, avocation, blaxploitation, botheration, calculation, calibration, cancellation, carbonation, castigation, celebration, cerebration, chlorination, circulation, cogitation, collocation, coloration, combination, comfort station, commendation, commutation, compensation, complication, computation, concentration, condemnation, condensation, confirmation, confiscation, conflagration, conformation, confrontation, congregation, conjugation, connotation, consecration, conservation, consolation, constellation, consternation, constipation, consultation, consummation, contemplation, conurbation, conversation, convocation, copulation, coronation, corporation, correlation, corrugation, crenellation, crop rotation, culmination, cultivation, cumulation, cybernation, decimation, declamation, declaration, declination, decoration, dedication, defamation, defecation, deformation, degradation, dehydration, delectation, delegation, demarcation, demonstration, denigration, denotation, depilation, deportation, depravation, depredation, deputation, derivation, derogation, desecration, designation, desolation, desperation, destination, detestation, detonation, devastation, deviation, dislocation, dispensation, disputation, dissertation, dissipation, distillation, divination, domination, education, elevation, elongation, emanation, embarkation, embrocation, emendation, emigration, emulation, enervation, escalation, estimation, evocation, exaltation, excavation, excitation, exclamation, exculpation, execration, exhalation, exhortation, exhumation, expectation, expiation, expiration, explanation, explication, exploitation, exploration, exportation, expurgation, extirpation, exultation, fabrication, fascination, federation, fenestration, fermentation, fibrillation, figuration, filling station, fire station, flagellation, fluoridation, fluctuation, forestation, formulation, fornication, fragmentation, fulmination, fumigation, gene mutation, generation, germination, glaciation, graduation, granulation, gravitation, habitation, hesitation, hibernation, hyphenation, ideation, imitation, immigration, immolation, implantation, implication, importation, imprecation, imputation, incantation, incarnation, inclination, incrustation, incubation, indentation, indication, indignation, infestation, infiltration, inflammation, information, inhalation, innovation, inspiration, installation, instigation, insulation, integration, intimation, intonation, inundation, invitation, invocation, irrigation, irritation, iteration, jubilation, laceration, lamentation, lamination, legislation, levitation, liberation, limitation, lineation, liquidation, litigation, lubrication, lucubration, maceration, machination, malformation, masturbation, maturation, mediation, medication, meditation, melioration, menstruation, ministration, mitigation, moderation, modulation, molestation, motivation, mutilation, navigation, nomination, obfuscation, objurgation, obligation, observation, occupation, operation, orchestration, ordination, oscillation, osculation, ostentation, ovulation, oxidation, pagination, palpitation, penetration, percolation, perforation, permeation, permutation, perpetration, perspiration, perturbation, pigmentation, pixilation, police station, pollination, population, postulation, power station, predication, preparation, presentation, preservation, proclamation, procreation, profanation, prolongation, promulgation, propagation, prorogation, protestation, provocation, publication, punctuation, radiation, recantation, recitation, reclamation, re-creation, recreation, reformation, refutation, registration, regulation, rehydration, relaxation, relocation, renovation, reparation, replication, reprobation, reputation, reservation, resignation, respiration, restoration, retardation, revelation, revocation, ruination, rumination, rustication, salutation, sanitation, saturation, segmentation, segregation, separation, sequestration, service station, sexploitation, simulation, situation, speciation, speculation, spoliation, stimulation, stipulation, strangulation, structuration, stylization, subjugation, sublimation, suffocation, syncopation, syndication, tabulation, termination, T formation, titillation, toleration, transfer station, transformation, translocation, transmigration, transmutation, transpiration, transplantation, transportation, trepidation, tribulation, ulceration, ululation, undulation, urination, vaccination, vacillation, validation, valuation, variation, vegetation, veneration, ventilation, vindication, violation, visitation, weather station


ABERRATION Defined for Kids

aberration

play
noun ab·er·ra·tion \ˌa-bə-ˈrā-shən\

Definition of aberration

  1. :  an instance of being different from what is normal or usual <The poor test grade was an aberration for her.>




Medical Dictionary

aberration

play
noun ab·er·ra·tion \ˌab-ə-ˈrā-shən\

Medical Definition of aberration

  1. 1:  failure of a mirror, refracting surface, or lens to produce exact point-to-point correspondence between an object and its image

  2. 2:  unsoundness or disorder of the mind

  3. 3:  an aberrant organ or individual

  4. ab·er·ra·tion·al \-shnəl, -shən-əl\play adjective





Seen and Heard

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

WORD OF THE DAY

February 10, 2016

to put in good humor

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

kittly-benders spindrift duvet pince-nez
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ