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 The agitation days, and the succeeding army operations to eliminate insurgency, considerably impacted the generation growing up during that time in Assam through a multitude of anomalous experiences. Sangeeta Barooah Pisharoty, Quartz India, "The citizens’ register is the latest wound in Assam’s long history of loss and hurt," 17 Sep. 2019 Last year was particularly anomalous for the Nordic nation. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Climate Change Has Shrunk Sweden’s Highest Peak," 10 Sep. 2019 Now President Cyril Ramaphosa is pushing ahead on a plan to nationalize the Reserve Bank in order to address its anomalous ownership structure and assert the nation’s sovereignty. Washington Post, "Why South Africa’s ANC Is Taking On the Central Bank," 13 Mar. 2019 Then the researchers introduced an anomalous object into the scene — an image of an elephant. Quanta Magazine, "Machine Learning Confronts the Elephant in the Room," 20 Sep. 2018 Houston is a uniquely challenging opponent, oriented around one of the most anomalous creators in NBA history. Rob Mahoney,, "Top 100 NBA Players of 2020," 12 Sep. 2019 But there are those few who chase the exotic and anomalous: heat-seeking vipers, cold-adapted octopuses or, as in the present case, additional digits. Tom Roseberry, Scientific American, "Studying the Superhuman," 4 Sep. 2019 The rec center looks beautiful, but $500 for about an 8-month gym membership is a pretty anomalous cost. Amanda Blanco,, "At UConn’s new $100 million deluxe recreation center, students can go rock climbing, swimming or run indoors," 26 Aug. 2019 Being a worldwide lifestyle brand is an anomalous take on the human experience. Jamie Lauren Keiles, Time, "'What Do People Want Me to Do? Wear Black Every Day?': How Child Star JoJo Siwa Built Her Sparkly Empire," 22 Aug. 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

Statistics for anomalous

Last Updated

12 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for anomalous

The first known use of anomalous was in 1655

See more words from the same year

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).


to speed up the process or progress of

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Pass the Little Ribbons: A Pasta Word Quiz

  • pasta resembling wheels with spokes
  • Match the pasta to its meaning in English: Rotelle
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!