anom·​a·​lous | \ ə-ˈnä-mə-ləs How to pronounce anomalous (audio) \

Definition of anomalous

1 : inconsistent with or deviating from what is usual, normal, or expected : irregular, unusual Researchers could not explain the anomalous test results.
2a : of uncertain nature or classification an anomalous figure in the world of politics
b : marked by incongruity or contradiction : paradoxical

Other Words from anomalous

anomalously adverb
anomalousness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for anomalous

irregular, anomalous, unnatural mean not conforming to rule, law, or custom. irregular implies not conforming to a law or regulation imposed for the sake of uniformity in method, practice, or conduct. concerned about his irregular behavior anomalous implies not conforming to what might be expected because of the class or type to which it belongs or the laws that govern its existence. her drive made her an anomalous figure in a sleepy organization unnatural suggests what is contrary to nature or to principles or standards felt to be essential to the well-being of civilized society. prisoners treated with unnatural cruelty

Examples of anomalous in a Sentence

Researchers could not explain the anomalous test results. that was an anomalous year for the housing industry, so the number of starts is anything but typical
Recent Examples on the Web These once anomalous extreme events are becoming the status quo as climate change upends weather patterns, a reality that most grid U.S. operators now take into account in operational planning. Sergio Chapa,, 13 Jan. 2022 In addition to the Southwest, other states across the northern United States experienced anomalous amounts of lightning and thunder days. Washington Post, 8 Jan. 2022 The results underscore the anomalous character of the Chinese data. George Calhoun, Forbes, 6 Jan. 2022 Instead of receding into the past as an anomalous threat to the heart of American democracy, the history of the Capitol riot is yet to be fully written. Jake Coyle, Anchorage Daily News, 6 Jan. 2022 The data can be skewed by days with anomalous data entries, which are common around the holiday period. NBC News, 29 Dec. 2021 An anomalous ridge is bringing not only above-normal temperatures (highs and lows) to the region but also a lengthy duration. Leigh Morgan, al, 26 Dec. 2021 Now, inflation is not just rapid but also anomalous, some economists say. Xander Peters, The Christian Science Monitor, 22 Dec. 2021 But in April 2021 van Dokkum’s team released the results of an in-depth HST study of both anomalous galaxies, showing that their greater initial distance estimates were correct. Anil Ananthaswamy, Scientific American, 22 Dec. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'anomalous.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of anomalous

1655, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for anomalous

Late Latin anomalus, from Greek anōmalos, literally, uneven, from a- + homalos even, from homos same — more at same

Learn More About anomalous

Time Traveler for anomalous

Time Traveler

The first known use of anomalous was in 1655

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near anomalous



anomalous dispersion

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for anomalous

Last Updated

22 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Anomalous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jan. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for anomalous



English Language Learners Definition of anomalous

: not expected or usual


anom·​a·​lous | \ ə-ˈnä-mə-ləs How to pronounce anomalous (audio) \

Kids Definition of anomalous

: not regular or usual anomalous test results


anom·​a·​lous | \ ə-ˈnäm-ə-ləs How to pronounce anomalous (audio) \

Medical Definition of anomalous

: deviating from normal anomalous development anomalous pulmonary venous drainagePhysicians' Current Procedural Terminology specifically : having abnormal vision with respect to a particular color but not color-blind she was almost red anomalous Nature

More from Merriam-Webster on anomalous

Nglish: Translation of anomalous for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of anomalous for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!