1

aberrant

adjective ab·er·rant \ a-ˈber-ənt , ə- , -ˈbe-rənt ; ˈa-bə-rənt , -ˌber-ənt , -ˌbe-rənt \

Definition of aberrant

1 :deviating from the usual or natural type :atypical, abnormal
  • aberrant behavior
  • I don't intend to suggest that his psychology was in some way aberrant or neurotic …
  • —Michael Chabon
2 :straying from the right or normal way
  • aberrant misfits

aberrance

play \-ən(t)s\ noun

aberrancy

play \-ən(t)-sē\ noun

aberrantly

adverb

Examples of aberrant in a Sentence

  1. The stones, silvered in the moon's aberrant light, shone like spectral tombs, and the figures, which Dalgliesh knew were Helena, Lettie and the Bostocks, became discarnate shapes disappearing into the darkness. —P. D. JamesThe Private Patient2008
  2. … as if he had happily spied an aberrant crocus amid the wintry gray scene of Presidential impeachment. —Francis X. ClinesNew York Times8 Jan. 1999
  3. … at the brief and aberrant moment in time when it was possible to believe that America owed its great place in the world to its military and moral virtue rather than to the weight of its currency. —Lewis H. LaphamHarper'sMarch 1992
  4. a year of aberrant weather—record rainfall in the summer, record heat in the autumn

  5. aberrant behavior can be a sign of rabies in a wild animal

Recent Examples of aberrant from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'aberrant.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

Something aberrant has wandered away from the usual path or form. The word is generally used in a negative way; aberrant behavior, for example, may be a symptom of other problems. But the discovery of an aberrant variety of a species can be exciting news to a biologist, and identifying an aberrant gene has led the way to new treatments for diseases.

Origin and Etymology of aberrant

borrowed from Latin aberrant-, aberrans, present participle of aberrāre "to wander away, stray, go wrong," from ab- ab- + errāre "to wander, drift, be in error" — more at err


2

aberrant

noun ab·er·rant \ a-ˈber-ənt , ə- , -ˈbe-rənt ; ˈa-bə-rənt , -ˌber-ənt , -ˌbe-rənt \

Definition of aberrant

1 :a group, individual, or structure that is not normal or typical :an aberrant group, individual, or structure
2 :a person whose behavior departs substantially from the standard

Origin and Etymology of aberrant

noun derivative of 1aberrant


Medical Dictionary

aberrant

adjective ab·er·rant \ a-ˈber-ənt , ə-; ˈab-ə-rənt , -ˌe(ə)r-ənt \

medical Definition of aberrant

1 :straying from the right or normal way
  • aberrant behavior
2 :deviating from the usual or natural type :atypical 1
  • aberrant salivary tissue


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

to suppress quietly or indirectly

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one-green-toy-robot-amidst-many-red-toy-robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!