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

Keep scrolling for more

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 Instead, two volunteer citizen scientists—Robert Gagliano and Tom Jacobs—independently noticed anomalous flickers in the light coming from HD 74423 as the teardrop grew, shrunk, and turned. Charlie Wood, Popular Science, "First of its kind “teardrop” star pulses with its own rhythm," 11 Mar. 2020 But the Schubert did, in the end, seem a bit anomalous. Matthew Guerrieri, Washington Post, "Noseda returns to the NSO podium and, just in time, finds the narrative," 21 Feb. 2020 The anomalous weather is part of a global heatwave that is on course to make this the warmest winter on record worldwide. Patrick Reevell, ABC News, "In Moscow, people adjust to a winter without snow: 'It's like we're at a resort'," 28 Feb. 2020 With the warm weather, continued anomalous wildlife activity is likely in the next month, when bears, lions, bobcats and other predators emerge hungry, and could show up in strange places in their searches for food. Tom Stienstra,, "Spring-like weather brings out hungry bears, lions," 23 Feb. 2020 Or that anomalous images in an artist’s oeuvre are favored over iconic ones. Richard B. Woodward, WSJ, "‘Unseen: 35 Years of Collecting Photographs’ Review: A Different Perspective," 4 Feb. 2020 In 2008, Indiana saw an anomalous one-year spike in federal funding. London Gibson, Indianapolis Star, "IDEM budget dropped almost 20% in the last decade as total state spending increased, report says," 26 Dec. 2019 The anomalous enlistment rates illustrated a potential shortcoming of Texas’ high-profile academic accountability system. Silvia Foster-frau,, "San Antonio’s Gervin Academy among 12 school districts under TEA probe for military enlistment claims," 22 Dec. 2019 This dynamic helps to explain the anomalous poor performance of emerging-market currencies. John Authers | Bloomberg, Washington Post, "The Only Chart You Need to Understand 2019’s Global Markets," 15 Nov. 2019

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Statistics for anomalous

Last Updated

18 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Anomalous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Apr. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for anomalous


How to pronounce anomalous (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of anomalous

somewhat formal : 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 anomalousNature

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on anomalous

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Flower Edition

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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