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

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.

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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective But failed or aberrant immunity to the coronavirus is unlikely to be the norm. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, "We’re Thinking About Reinfection All Wrong," 24 Feb. 2021 Also beyond just targeting aberrant immune activity, drug companies could pursue compounds that increase the brain’s ability to compensate. Bret Stetka, Scientific American, "Think of Multiple Sclerosis as a Leaking Swimming Pool," 18 June 2015 The problem with this particular breed of social media stunt is that the performance amplifies the aberrant motives and tendencies of these members of Congress, and this can cause real, serious harm. Laura Bassett, The New Republic, "All That’s Left of Trumpism Is Hilariously Stupid, Deadly Serious Social Media Stunts," 15 Jan. 2021 The institution was then all male, and the powers that ran it had an astonishing tolerance for aberrant behavior. David E. Petzal, Field & Stream, "What Would You Do with the Last Box of .22 Ammunition?," 27 Nov. 2020 At 17 weeks, Ewoldt underwent surgery at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital to seal and disconnect the twins' aberrant vessels. Sarah Kay Leblanc, USA TODAY, "Beating the odds: The world's most premature twins to celebrate 2nd birthday," 23 Nov. 2020 Facing an electorate already fatigued by his aberrant conduct, the president effectively sealed his defeat by minimizing a pandemic that has created simultaneous health and economic crises. Jonathan Martin, New York Times, "Biden Wins Presidency, Ending Four Tumultuous Years Under Trump," 7 Nov. 2020 The most aberrant detail of the investigation was Mueller’s decision not to compel the president to be deposed in person: a fateful choice, hard to explain on any grounds except reluctance to precipitate a constitutional crisis. David Bromwich, Harper's Magazine, "Is America Ungovernable?," 27 Oct. 2020 For Stella McCartney, this particularly aberrant year called for a raw, visceral campaign and a wholly human approach. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "See Stella McCartney’s Touching Portrait Series for Breast Cancer Awareness Month," 23 Oct. 2020

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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Statistics for aberrant

Last Updated

2 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Aberrant.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/aberrant. Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

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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

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Comments on aberrant

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