aberrant

adjective
ab·​er·​rant | \ a-ˈber-ənt How to pronounce aberrant (audio) , ə-, -ˈbe-rənt; ˈa-bə-rənt How to pronounce aberrant (audio) , -ˌber-ənt, -ˌbe-rənt \

Definition of aberrant

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

aberrant

noun

Definition of aberrant (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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Other Words from aberrant

Adjective

aberrance \ a-​ˈber-​ən(t)s How to pronounce aberrant (audio) , ə-​ , -​ˈbe-​rən(t)s ; ˈa-​bə-​rən(t)s How to pronounce aberrant (audio) , -​ˌber-​ən(t)s , -​ˌbe-​rən(t)s \ noun
aberrantly adverb

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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.

Examples of aberrant in a Sentence

Adjective 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. James, The Private Patient, 2008 … as if he had happily spied an aberrant crocus amid the wintry gray scene of Presidential impeachment. — Francis X. Clines, New York Times, 8 Jan. 1999 … 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. Lapham, Harper's, March 1992 a year of aberrant weather—record rainfall in the summer, record heat in the autumn aberrant behavior can be a sign of rabies in a wild animal
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective She’s a woman who does something very aberrant, very transgressive. Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times, 18 Jan. 2022 New work from the CUNY team shows an early glimpse of that possibility, while also revealing the difficulties involved in identifying what an aberrant signal means. Maryn Mckenna, Wired, 14 Feb. 2022 And both suggest that the impulse to cheat, cut corners and get over on chumps, if not inflict harm upon them outright, is far from some aberrant pathology in the American identity but rather a constitutive force. New York Times, 9 Feb. 2022 The Muon’s aberrant behavior, an extended quantum particle wobble, upends the Standard Theory, creating in Physics an existential wobble. Judith K. Liebmann, Scientific American, 20 Jan. 2022 Multiple members of the Trump circle have been forced to decide between appeasing and abetting their boss' aberrant behavior and constitutional vandalism and their own reputations. Stephen Collinson, CNN, 15 Dec. 2021 Details on what these companies consider aberrant behavior are scant, but Mark Cohen oversaw one of the first such policies, at Sears Canada in the mid-2000s. Amanda Mull, The Atlantic, 7 Oct. 2021 Sadly, estrangement or isolation feeds some of the aberrant, antisocial impulses that can make gang life and crime seem a natural choice. cleveland, 22 Nov. 2021 Yet for disabled women, that norm is often treated as aberrant. Los Angeles Times, 30 Sep. 2021 See More

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.

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First Known Use of aberrant

Adjective

circa 1536, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Noun

1840, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for aberrant

Adjective

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

Noun

noun derivative of aberrant entry 1

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Time Traveler for aberrant

Time Traveler

The first known use of aberrant was circa 1536

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Dictionary Entries Near aberrant

aberrancy

aberrant

aberrated

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Cite this Entry

“Aberrant.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/aberrant. Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for aberrant

aberrant

adjective
ab·​er·​rant | \ a-ˈber-ənt How to pronounce aberrant (audio) , ə-; ˈab-ə-rənt How to pronounce aberrant (audio) , -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 sense 1 aberrant salivary tissue

More from Merriam-Webster on aberrant

Nglish: Translation of aberrant for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of aberrant for Arabic Speakers

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