anomaly

noun
anom·​a·​ly | \ ə-ˈnä-mə-lē \
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

Some hedge-fund managers employ strategies that profit from increased price anomalies, while bank trading desks stand to profit as clients ramp up new equity bets or pile on hedges. Daniel Kruger, WSJ, "Individual Investors Try Not to Panic Over Big Market Gyrations," 1 Jan. 2019 Considering that the workplace is at the root of much of today’s stress and anxiety, the idea of making one’s desk into an area of respite is kind of an anomaly. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "How to Turn Your Desk Into the Ultimate Self-Care Station in 2019," 12 Dec. 2018 By the time Maezawa flies to the moon, the state of human spaceflight may make this flight look like less of an anomaly. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "5 Things We Learned From SpaceX's Moon Tourist Announcement," 18 Sep. 2018 But Aukey does have the perk of a VGA port, which is somewhat of an anomaly among USB-C travel hubs. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "Guidemaster: Picking the right Thunderbolt 3 or USB-C dock for your desk," 3 July 2018 But Gilpin notes that the show, with its many and layered female roles, is something of an anomaly in Hollywood. Carly Mallenbaum, USA TODAY, "How 'GLOW' set is a 'feminist bio-dome' while exploring themes of sexism in Season 2," 28 June 2018 The location of the anomaly is being kept confidential. Mark Price, charlotteobserver, "Mysterious sonar 'anomaly' off NC could be shipwreck, rock formation — 'or otherwise'," 27 June 2018 With the help of a computer program, Carlisle looked for a specific type of anomaly: nonrandom assignment of volunteers to different treatments, when the trial had claimed the assignments were random. Jennifer Couzin-frankel, Science | AAAS, "Following charges of flawed statistics, major medical journal sets the record straight," 13 June 2018 Silverman has always been something of an anomaly, occupying her own special corner of the universe. Drew Magary, GQ, "Sarah Silverman Is the Troll Slayer," 23 May 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

23 Jan 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

: something that is unusual or unexpected : something anomalous

anomaly

noun
anom·​a·​ly | \ ə-ˈnä-mə-lē \
plural anomalies

Kids Definition of anomaly

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

anomaly

noun
anom·​a·​ly | \ ə-ˈnäm-ə-lē \
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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