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

Her career is an anomaly—there are so few Black women at the helm of a luxury fashion business. Marquita K. Harris, Essence, "Fashion Forward: Carly Cushnie Has Carved A Lane in Luxury On Her Terms," 16 Sep. 2019 Each season showed temperature anomalies, but the summer was the most drastic change, with the coldest recorded mean summer temperature for Europe between 1766 and 2000. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Why a volcanic eruption caused a 'year without a summer' in 1816," 17 Sep. 2019 The 5-foot-7, baby-faced teenager is an anomaly as a female suspect charged with plotting a mass shooting, but police described her as a serious threat. Katie Shepherd, Washington Post, "A teen allegedly wanted to ‘shoot 400 people for fun.’ Cops found an AK-47 in her bedroom.," 17 Sep. 2019 Although California is today perceived as an inveterate, deep-blue state, the overwhelming control that Democrats currently have over both the legislative and executive branches is a historical anomaly. Tim Arango, New York Times, "Trump Inspires California Lawmakers to Go on Offense," 14 Sep. 2019 Though obviously not a complete safeguard — former NBA referee Tim Donaghy served 15 months in prison for betting on games and giving gamblers information from 2005-07 — Magliulo said troubling patterns or anomalies will reveal themselves. Phil Rosenthal, chicagotribune.com, "Could a gambling conspiracy like the 1919 Black Sox scandal happen again?," 14 Sep. 2019 That's probably an anomaly for the Cardinals, though, according to Kingsbury. Bob Mcmanaman, azcentral, "Dual-threat quarterbacks Kyler Murray and Lamar Jackson could be 'the future of football'," 11 Sep. 2019 The one exception is the traditional black hole of water, Santa Clara County, an anomaly across California and excluded from the above numbers. Tom Stienstra, SFChronicle.com, "As fall heats up, Bay Area lakes are the place to cool off," 11 Sep. 2019 With each passing day, new anomalies have come to light. R Nagaraj, Quartz India, "India’s economic slowdown may be worse than it appears," 10 Sep. 2019

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

16 Oct 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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Comments on anomaly

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