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

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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
Recent Examples on the Web These anomalous readings are reflected in the average temperature over the high Arctic (north of 80 degrees latitude), which has spiked in recent days, rising over 12 degrees (7 Celsius). Andrew Freedman, Anchorage Daily News, "Unusual warmth pours over North Pole, potentially jump-starting melt season for Arctic ice," 15 May 2020 The thin shred of hope is that anomalies like Caleb will lead mankind to the anomalous destiny of survival, but those final shots are not optimistic. Scott Tobias, New York Times, "‘Westworld’ Season 3 Finale Recap: Choosing Beauty," 4 May 2020 On Harrison's screen, CHIRPS data showed a red blob of anomalous dryness across Zimbabwe—rainfall was running 80% below average for the season. Paul Voosen, Science | AAAS, "How a team of scientists studying drought helped build the world’s leading famine prediction model," 15 Apr. 2020 To figure out what its anomalous hydrogen content was trying to say, the team would have to dig deeper. Popular Science, "Mars might be made of mashed-up baby planets," 2 Apr. 2020 This should create some anomalous light leaks in the middle of its transit. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Could we have already imaged a ringed exoplanet?," 14 Mar. 2020 Researchers are trying to explain their anomalous findings. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Something Weird Just Happened That We Can't Really Explain With Existing Physics," 6 Mar. 2020 But despite the anomalous forecast, this weekend’s weather has been even more extreme by some measures than expected. Dave Epstein,, "Here’s why this weekend’s weather has been some of the craziest you’ll ever see for January in Boston," 12 Jan. 2020 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

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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Time Traveler for anomalous

Time Traveler

The first known use of anomalous was in 1655

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Statistics for anomalous

Last Updated

27 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Anomalous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jun. 2020.

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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

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