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

Preimplantation Genetic Screening While controversial, the technology for preimplantation genetic screening (PGS)—in which a developing embryo is screened for chromosomal abnormalities—continues to advance. Jancee Dunn, Vogue, "How California Became the World’s Fertility Treatment Destination," 13 Mar. 2019 Patients receiving the drug experienced side effects such as infusion-site reactions and brain abnormalities in imaging scans, but Dr. Kramer said the drug was generally well tolerated. Peter Loftus, WSJ, "Alzheimer’s Drug Shows Benefit, But Some Experts Say More Testing Needed," 25 July 2018 Potential causes of this are an underlying anatomical abnormality in the region, like a middle ear bone condition, muscle contraction, or blood vessel problem, per the Mayo Clinic. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "What Is Tinnitus?," 30 Jan. 2019 The abnormalities pose no food safety risk, researchers and industry officials say. Jacob Bunge, WSJ, "Fast-Growth Chickens Produce New Industry Woe: ‘Spaghetti Meat’," 10 Mar. 2019 The Australian Energy Market Operator recently praised the system for its quick response to frequency abnormalities on the grid. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "Australia doesn’t care to break its coal habit in the face of climate change," 11 Oct. 2018 Loxo has pioneered an experimental therapy targeting single-gene abnormalities that... The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Big Pharma’s Cancer Race," 9 Jan. 2019 Mary Alice also has brittle cornea syndrome, a condition related to Ehlers-Danlos that causes abnormalities of the eye and can lead to her retina becoming detached during activities. Jason Duaine Hahn, PEOPLE.com, "Kind-Hearted Limo Driver Treats Girl With Rare Disorder to Free Luxury Rides to Hospital," 18 May 2018 Another important reason to see a doctor sooner rather than later is that dementia can be caused by other conditions that are treatable, such as depression, endocrine abnormalities, nutritional deficiencies, and reactions to medications. Korin Miller, SELF, "Kathy Griffin Reveals Her Mother Has 'Rapidly Fallen Into the Throes of Dementia'," 4 Jan. 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

11 May 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).


a sum of money that is sent as a payment

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