ab·​nor·​mal·​i·​ty | \ ˌab-nər-ˈma-lə-tē How to pronounce abnormality (audio) , -(ˌ)nȯr-\
plural abnormalities

Definition of abnormality

1 : something abnormal
2 : the quality or state of being abnormal

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Synonyms & Antonyms for abnormality


anomaly, freak, monster, monstrosity


average, norm, normal, par, standard

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Examples of abnormality in a Sentence

The test results showed several genetic abnormalities. There was some abnormality in his vision.

Recent Examples on the Web

There are many different causes of pulmonary embolism, including clots that form in the legs and travel up, ones that form in the heart and ones that form on their own due to a blood abnormality. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Patriots’ David Andrews seems likely to miss season after blood clot scare," 27 Aug. 2019 Such abnormalities arise as a result of a process known as teratogenesis. Emily Langer, Washington Post, "Liane Russell, scientist who put spotlight on danger of X-rays for embryos, dies at 95," 23 Aug. 2019 The result is a six-item chart that scores activity in each circuit, helping the researchers flag abnormalities. Emily Underwood, Science | AAAS, "Brain scans could help personalize treatment for people who are depressed or suicidal," 20 Aug. 2019 Those abnormalities include chronic inflammation and resistance to insulin, the hormone that enables cells to absorb blood sugar and convert it to energy. Marie Mccullough, chicagotribune.com, "Obesity-related cancer rates are rising in middle-aged Americans but falling in seniors. What’s going on?," 19 Aug. 2019 During his undergraduate time at UAB, Watts first studied electrical engineering before switching to biomedical engineering after a summer working in a lab at Spain Rehab studying speech abnormalities. Ivana Hrynkiw | Ihrynkiw@al.com, al, "‘I have enough confidence for all of us’: UAB’s Ray Watts tells his story," 11 Aug. 2019 Animal studies have linked high doses early in pregnancy with fetal brain abnormalities, but whether typical use in humans poses similar risks is unknown, said Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Lindsey Tanner, USA TODAY, "More pregnant women are using marijuana, study finds. Doctor says it's 'not worth the risk'," 19 June 2019 The discovery quickly opened up new avenues of research in genetics and genetic abnormalities. BostonGlobe.com, "Liane Russell, who studied radiation’s effects on embryos, 95," 19 Aug. 2019 The team at Cradle says its tests will be able to detect genetic abnormalities more broadly and more comprehensively. San Diego Union-Tribune, "With Illumina and Google ties, San Diego startup Cradle Genomics gets $17M," 16 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'abnormality.' 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 abnormality

1847, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for abnormality

abnormal entry 1 + -ity

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Statistics for abnormality

Last Updated

14 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for abnormality

The first known use of abnormality was in 1847

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More Definitions for abnormality



English Language Learners Definition of abnormality

: something that is not usual, expected, or normal : something that is abnormal


ab·​nor·​mal·​i·​ty | \ ˌab-nər-ˈma-lə-tē How to pronounce abnormality (audio) \
plural abnormalities

Kids Definition of abnormality

: something that is not usual, expected, or normal The X-ray showed no abnormalities.


ab·​nor·​mal·​i·​ty | \ ˌab-nər-ˈmal-ət-ē, -(ˌ)nȯr- How to pronounce abnormality (audio) \
plural abnormalities

Medical Definition of abnormality

1 : the quality or state of being abnormal
2 : something abnormal brain-wave abnormalities

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Comments on abnormality

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


miscellaneous remnants or debris

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