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 Livingstone has also co-sponsored legislation that would not only enshrine Roe in Massachusetts law but expand youth access and guarantee that women could receive abortions past 24 weeks in pregnancies involving fatal fetal anomalies. Alan Greenblatt, The New Republic, "Have Democrats Found Their ALEC?," 3 Jan. 2020 Physicists hope that slight anomalies could reveal previously unknown elementary particles. Davide Castelvecchi, Scientific American, "Watch Out for These Science Events in 2020," 30 Dec. 2019 The Bureau is located within the shifting, ever-evolving Oldest House, which hosts an insidious organism known as the Hiss, which may end up holding the key to the disappearance of Jesse's brother as well as a host of other anomalies in the world. Brittany Vincent, CNN Underscored, "These are our favorite video games of 2019," 26 Dec. 2019 Below is data from NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies that shows each year's temperature anomaly, or change in global surface temperature relative to 1951-1980 average temperatures. USA Today, "Warming temperatures, growing cities, TIME people of the year: 10 lists that define the 2010s," 25 Dec. 2019 Tinslee Lewis was born with a rare heart defect called Ebstein's anomaly and suffers from chronic lung disease and severe chronic pulmonary hypertension, Cook Children's Health Care System spokesperson Winifred King said in a statement last month. Madeline Holcombe, CNN, "Judge extends order that a hospital must keep 10-month-old on life-support, reports say," 13 Dec. 2019 If so, the current flowering of Hong Kong identity could one day look like a brief historical anomaly. Jiayang Fan, The New Yorker, "Hong Kong’s Protest Movement and the Fight for the City’s Soul," 9 Dec. 2019 In the case of lethal anomalies, Rene would talk to the families who usually had no information other than what their attending high-risk obstetrician had told them. Michelle Matthews | Mmatthews@al.com, al, "This nurse started a program to help moms of babies with anomalies," 27 Nov. 2019 By publisher request, misspellings and other anomalies have been preserved. Allen Ginsberg, Harper's magazine, "The Beast in Me," 25 Nov. 2019

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

9 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Anomaly.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/anomalies. Accessed 18 January 2020.

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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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