anomaly

noun
anom·​a·​ly | \ ə-ˈnä-mə-lē How to pronounce anomaly (audio) \
plural anomalies

Definition of anomaly

1 : something different, abnormal, peculiar, or not easily classified : something anomalous They regarded the test results as an anomaly.
2 : deviation from the common rule : irregularity
3 : the angular distance of a planet from its perihelion as seen from the sun

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Examples of anomaly in a Sentence

In approximately 10% of patients, autism can be explained by genetic syndromes and known chromosomal anomalies (most of which have recognizable features in addition to autism) … — Lauren A. Weiss et al., New England Journal of Medicine, 14 Feb. 2008 Eleven minutes may not sound like much when you're waiting for a table at your favorite restaurant, but in the course of centuries, eleven minutes and change become a formidable chunk of time. By the 1300s, those superfluous minutes had added up to hours, then days, then more than a week. The calendar was losing time, irrevocably, to the "real" year, slipping further and further behind in its measurement of the earth's orbit. Anomalies began to creep into what had been the certainties of life. The spring equinox—one of two moments in the year when day and night are of equal length all over the earth, and which occurs on or about March 21—began to fall on March 16, then 15, then 14. — Michelle Stacey, Harper's, December 2006 Californians aren't the only ones vexed by rolling brownouts and other power-supply anomalies. Everyday power spikes, surges, sags, and line noise cause computers, stereo equipment, televisions, telephones, and other delicate electronic equipment to go psychotic or have complete nervous breakdowns. Fortune, 25 June 2001 This policy may well have made sense back when steroid use was an anomaly. Now that bulking up with chemical help seems to be more popular than ever, it's incumbent on baseball to take action. — Steve Kettman, New York Times, 20 Aug. 2000 We couldn't explain the anomalies in the test results. her C grade is an anomaly, as she's never made anything except A's and B's before
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Recent Examples on the Web

Hendricks did fan 11 batters in a win over the Diamondbacks in April, but that start was the anomaly. Michael Beller, SI.com, "No Longer as Predictable, Kyle Hendricks Has Become a Strikeout Threat Again," 8 June 2019 The bill is both terrifying in its breadth and is unfortunately not an anomaly. Hannah Brashers, Allure, "Early Abortion Laws: Which States Have Passed Them, and How Can You Help Those Affected?," 6 June 2019 Of course, Cersei could just be drinking through her pregnancy (and the moment with Tyrion last season was an anomaly). Abby Gardner, Glamour, "This Game of Thrones Fan Theory Suggests Cersei Is Not Actually Pregnant," 15 Apr. 2019 Being a conservative who champions environmental challenges often leaves one feeling like an anomaly. Danielle Butcher, Vox, "Young conservatives like me care about climate change. The GOP needs to take notice.," 23 May 2018 The Dash were coming off a surprising 3-2 win over Sky Blue FC Saturday, but that match seemed like an anomaly for Houston, who had scored just one goal and failed to post a win in its first five games of the season prior to Saturday's match. Jamie Goldberg, OregonLive.com, "Ana-Maria Crnogorcevic scores, but Portland Thorns settle for 1-1 draw with Houston Dash," 9 May 2018 France fought back; but Emmanuel Macron’s pro-European response looks increasingly like an anomaly. Alan Crawford, Bloomberg.com, "Italy Blames Europe, Sparking Populist Rise," 5 Mar. 2018 So many girls being kidnapped at once seemed like an anomaly, but four years later, more girls have been reported missing following a Boko Haram attack on a town in Nigeria. Jameelah Nasheed, Teen Vogue, "Following Boko Haram Attack, Dozens of Nigerian Girls Missing," 28 Feb. 2018 But on the ground, Mr. Gillum and Ms. Ocasio-Cortez are the anomalies of this cycle. Kimberley A. Strassel, WSJ, "The Lesson of 2018," 1 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'anomaly.' 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 anomaly

1603, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for anomaly

see anomalous

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Statistics for anomaly

Last Updated

12 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for anomaly

The first known use of anomaly was in 1603

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More Definitions for anomaly

anomaly

noun

English Language Learners Definition of anomaly

somewhat formal : something that is unusual or unexpected : something anomalous

anomaly

noun
anom·​a·​ly | \ ə-ˈnä-mə-lē How to pronounce anomaly (audio) \
plural anomalies

Kids Definition of anomaly

: something different, abnormal, strange, or not easily described

anomaly

noun
anom·​a·​ly | \ ə-ˈnäm-ə-lē How to pronounce anomaly (audio) \
plural anomalies

Medical Definition of anomaly

: a deviation from normal especially of a bodily part the infants demonstrated congenital anomalies personality anomalies

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