anom·​a·​lous | \ə-ˈnä-mə-ləs \

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

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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 When you’re a child, everything local is famous. On that principle, Hoyt-Schermerhorn was the most famous subway station in the world. It was the first subway station I knew, and it took years for me to disentangle my primal fascination with its status as a functional ruin, an indifferent home to clockwork chaos, from the fact that it was, in objective measure, an anomalous place. Personal impressions and neighborhood lore swirled in my exaggerated regard. In fact the place was cool and weird beyond my obsession’s parameters, cooler and weirder than most subway stations anyway. —“Speak, Hoyt-Schermerhorn” P. 73, Jonathan Lethem, HARPER’S MAGAZINE Vol. 309 No. 1855, December 2004 A whole raft of species prefer living in this type of comfortable, settled, old forest, says Spaulding, which means that Borestone supports a unique variety of life, a bunch of animals not necessarily common to the area. Even the rocks and ponds are a bit anomalous for the Maine woods. It's just the kind of rarity and diversity you might expect in an Audubon sanctuary–especially one that comprises more than half of the society's total acreage in the state. —"Borestone Mountain hideaway" P. 70, Andrew Vietze, DOWN EAST Vol. 50 No. 2, September 2003 London was more of an agglutination than any kind of classical construction, buildings stuck together and clotted as a mass of swallows’ or bats’ nests. The many official attempts in the first decade of the century to clarify and cleanse the city, to impose order and uniformity on its bubbling and anomalous being, repeatedly failed. This animal aspect of London was always too powerful. —“Two” P. 24, GOD’S SECRETARIES, Adam Nicolson, HarperCollins Publishers Inc., 220.5 N54g ©2003 Many regions in Italy insist on the differences and integrity of local cuisine, scoffing at tourist restaurants that will serve a dish as anomalous as "spaghetti bolognese," mixing tropes of north and south with appalling familiarity. But Trieste cooks as it lives—in a simmering melting pot. —"Pursuits & Retreats" P. 83, John Donatich, THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY Vol. 289 No. 6, June 2002 The book explores scientific evidence on altered states of consciousness associated with mystical experiences, near-death incidents, alien-abduction reports, and other so-called anomalous events. —"Into the Mystic" P. 104, Bruce Bower, SCIENCE NEWS Vol. 159 No. 7, February 17, 2001 There are different red/green colour deficiencies, though. The most common, which affects some five per cent of men, is 'defective' green vision - deuteranomalous trichromatism. Translated, that means normal colour vision ( trichromatism) affected by problems (anomalous) in the middle, green wavelength (deuter). —"Life: Life&Soul: Health: Hue and cry: Is severe colour-blindness a handicap or just a different way of seeing the world? Peter Silverton reports on his sons' 'colour deficiency'", Pg. 39, BYLINE: Peter Silverton, THE OBSERVER [NEXIS], Copyright 2001 Guardian Newspapers Limited, July 1, 2001
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Recent Examples on the Web

Here are some other exotic phenomena that could leave anomalous trails in MoEDAL’s detection system. Adam Hadhazy, Discover Magazine, "Scientists Hunt for A Seeming Paradox: A Magnet With Only One Pole," 13 Nov. 2018 And the answer is basically that high oil prices plus savings and loan deregulation created an anomalous construction boom/bust cycle in the 1980s that left Texas oversupplied with housing. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "Austin can’t stay weird," 28 Sep. 2018 Astronomers have long known that some type of very small, rapidly spinning particle is throwing off this faint light, which is known as anomalous microwave emission (AME). Mike Wall,, "Puzzling Cosmic Glow Is Caused by Diamond Dust Glamming Up Stars," 11 June 2018 The result appears to confirm the anomalous results of a decades-old experiment that MiniBooNE was built to double-check. Natalie Wolchover, Washington Post, "Evidence for a new fundamental particle thrills and baffles physicists," 18 June 2018 That level of departures -- particularly so early in an administration -- is historically anomalous, again according to data gathered by Dunn Tempas. Chris Cillizza, CNN, "Kirstjen Nielsen joins a looooong line of Trump Cabinet officials who have threatened to resign," 11 May 2018 Secret weddings aren’t all that anomalous, even historically. Rebecca Farley,, "The Sorcery Of A Secret Celebrity Wedding In 2018," 29 June 2018 Such a fact is evidence of a connecting physical effect that is driving the development of these anomalous conditions. Greg Porter, Washington Post, "PM Update: Clear and comfortable tonight. Warm with increasing humidity on Friday.," 24 May 2018 Even Hillary Clinton, one of the most anomalous of former First Ladies who learned to speak carefully as a politician, has found her voice in her post-political life. Hilary Weaver, Vanities, "Laura Bush, Michelle Obama, and the Soft Power of Outspoken First Ladies," 20 June 2018

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.

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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

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Statistics for anomalous

Last Updated

10 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for anomalous

The first known use of anomalous was in 1655

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More Definitions for anomalous



English Language Learners Definition of anomalous

: not expected or usual


anom·​a·​lous | \ə-ˈnä-mə-ləs \

Kids Definition of anomalous

: not regular or usual anomalous test results


anom·​a·​lous | \ə-ˈnäm-ə-ləs \

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

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