anomaly

noun
anom·​a·​ly | \ ə-ˈnä-mə-lē How to pronounce anomaly (audio) \
plural anomalies

Definition of anomaly

1 : something different, abnormal, peculiar, or not easily classified : something anomalous They regarded the test results as an anomaly.
2 : deviation from the common rule : irregularity
3 : the angular distance of a planet from its perihelion as seen from the sun

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Examples of anomaly in a Sentence

In approximately 10% of patients, autism can be explained by genetic syndromes and known chromosomal anomalies (most of which have recognizable features in addition to autism) … — Lauren A. Weiss et al., New England Journal of Medicine, 14 Feb. 2008 Eleven minutes may not sound like much when you're waiting for a table at your favorite restaurant, but in the course of centuries, eleven minutes and change become a formidable chunk of time. By the 1300s, those superfluous minutes had added up to hours, then days, then more than a week. The calendar was losing time, irrevocably, to the "real" year, slipping further and further behind in its measurement of the earth's orbit. Anomalies began to creep into what had been the certainties of life. The spring equinox—one of two moments in the year when day and night are of equal length all over the earth, and which occurs on or about March 21—began to fall on March 16, then 15, then 14. — Michelle Stacey, Harper's, December 2006 Californians aren't the only ones vexed by rolling brownouts and other power-supply anomalies. Everyday power spikes, surges, sags, and line noise cause computers, stereo equipment, televisions, telephones, and other delicate electronic equipment to go psychotic or have complete nervous breakdowns. Fortune, 25 June 2001 This policy may well have made sense back when steroid use was an anomaly. Now that bulking up with chemical help seems to be more popular than ever, it's incumbent on baseball to take action. — Steve Kettman, New York Times, 20 Aug. 2000 We couldn't explain the anomalies in the test results. her C grade is an anomaly, as she's never made anything except A's and B's before
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Recent Examples on the Web The results also will help demonstrate whether the sweeping political coalition that fueled Biden's victory was an anti-Trump anomaly or part of a new landscape. Arkansas Online, "Decision day in Georgia with Senate majority at stake," 5 Jan. 2021 The results also will help demonstrate whether the sweeping political coalition that fueled Biden’s victory was an anti-Trump anomaly or part of a new landscape. Steve Peoples, Anchorage Daily News, "Control of US Senate hangs in balance on final day of voting in Georgia," 5 Jan. 2021 That unique dynamic also gives researchers hope that 2020 becomes a statistical anomaly. Patrik Jonsson, The Christian Science Monitor, "2020’s murder increase is ‘unprecedented.’ But is it a blip?," 14 Dec. 2020 But 2016 proved to be a political anomaly — a year when the country was starving for candor and chose the loudest voice of all. Andy Brehm, Star Tribune, "Republicans after Trump: It's time to bring back class and decorum," 8 Dec. 2020 Some of the same six justices that agreed in April that divided juries are unconstitutional, declaring a Jim Crow-era anomaly of Louisiana law a mistake, cast doubt on the case for applying it to inmates who have exhausted their appeals. John Simerman, NOLA.com, "U.S. Supreme Court debates Louisiana split-jury law's impact as it weighs applying it retroactively," 2 Dec. 2020 The stability in legislative chambers this year is a historical anomaly. Julia Musto, Fox News, "Dems have yet to pick up a single state legislative chamber while GOP flips 2," 6 Nov. 2020 Twenty-seven years later, the statistical anomaly of an era not fathomable -- not even in 2020. Michael Casagrande | Mcasagrande@al.com, al, "No cigars, only confusing emotions followed 1993 Alabama-Tennessee tie," 21 Oct. 2020 Rosenthal has spent the past 25 years in Point Roberts, a geographical anomaly of five square miles wedged at the southern tip of the Tsawwassen Peninsula, about 20 miles south of Vancouver. Ben Harris, sun-sentinel.com, "Meet the 86-year-old Jewish volunteer running a food bank on the outskirts of America," 9 Sep. 2020

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

1603, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for anomaly

see anomalous

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Time Traveler for anomaly

Time Traveler

The first known use of anomaly was in 1603

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Statistics for anomaly

Last Updated

11 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Anomaly.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/anomaly. Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for anomaly

anomaly

noun
How to pronounce anomaly (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of anomaly

somewhat formal : something that is unusual or unexpected : something anomalous

anomaly

noun
anom·​a·​ly | \ ə-ˈnä-mə-lē How to pronounce anomaly (audio) \
plural anomalies

Kids Definition of anomaly

: something different, abnormal, strange, or not easily described

anomaly

noun
anom·​a·​ly | \ ə-ˈnäm-ə-lē How to pronounce anomaly (audio) \
plural anomalies

Medical Definition of anomaly

: a deviation from normal especially of a bodily part the infants demonstrated congenital anomalies personality anomalies

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