atyp·​i·​cal | \(ˌ)ā-ˈti-pi-kəl \

Definition of atypical 

1 : not typical : irregular, unusual an atypical form of a disease atypical weather for this area

2 medical : relating to or being an antipsychotic drug (such as risperidone) that tends to produce fewer adverse side effects on movement (such as dyskinesia) than previously used antipsychotic drugs (such as haloperidol) Atypical antipsychotics work more precisely, manipulating both dopamine and serotonin and suppressing symptoms without causing so many associated problems.— Jeffrey Kluger

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Other Words from atypical

atypicality \ˌā-​ˌti-​pə-​ˈka-​lə-​tē \ noun plural atypicalities
atypically \(ˌ)ā-​ˈti-​pi-​k(ə-​)lē \ adverb

Examples of atypical in a Sentence

the postal service delivered the package with atypical speed since that's an atypical response for an infant, you might want to have her hearing tested

Recent Examples on the Web

Drinking or taking sleeping pills on flights can lead to unpredictable behaviors, especially because your body may react to those differently given the atypical altitude and pressurization of an airplane cabin. Aditi Shrikant, Vox, "Why there are so many viral confrontations on airplanes," 2 Nov. 2018 Guys such as Donte DiVincenzo, Jacob Evans, Grayson Allen, Melvin Frazier and Khyri Thomas all could help playoff teams right away, which is atypical for players picked late in the first round. Tim Bontemps,, "Trades within the lottery could jolt an already intriguing NBA draft this week," 18 June 2018 By Reed Klass | Matt Walsh | Jourdan Rodrigue Still finding the other pieces The other players Carolina has brought into the secondary are diverse and, at times, atypical for their position. Jourdan Rodrigue, charlotteobserver, "Last man standing from Panthers' 'shop-hungry' draft knows what must happen next," 14 June 2018 Time_Sports Jesse Winker’s not an atypical Buffalo Bills fan in that his second-favorite team is the Cincinnati Bengals. C. Trent Rosecrans,, "Reds' Jesse Winker among Bills fans donating to Andy Dalton Foundation," 4 Jan. 2018 Both, though, boast skill sets atypical for their respective sizes. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan football getting 'thunder and lightning' with running backs," 8 July 2018 Edwin Black, author of IBM and the Holocaust, says the current wave of dissidents is atypical for the tech industry. Nitasha Tiku, WIRED, "Why Tech Worker Dissent Is Going Viral," 29 June 2018 But a lot of politics these days seem atypical, even at the local level. Michael Smolens,, "Fletcher takes on Trump in race for county supervisor," 13 May 2018 Many other things about Ohtani — 23, soft-spoken, unfailingly polite, frighteningly gifted — are nebulous, atypical or secrets. Dennis Lin,, "Japanese star Shohei Ohtani would be big in San Diego (or anywhere else)," 6 Dec. 2017

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

1845, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for atypical

see typical

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Dictionary Entries near atypical

Atwood's machine

at wt

A-type star





Statistics for atypical

Last Updated

17 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for atypical

The first known use of atypical was in 1845

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English Language Learners Definition of atypical

: not typical : not usual or normal


atyp·​i·​cal | \ˈā-ˈti-pi-kəl \

Kids Definition of atypical

: not usual or normal: not typical an atypical case

Other Words from atypical

atypically adverb


atyp·​i·​cal | \(ˈ)ā-ˈtip-i-kəl\

Medical Definition of atypical 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : not typical : not like the usual or normal type The procedure, ductal lavage, washes cells from the milk ducts, where 95 percent of breast cancers start. Tests can then be performed to look for atypical or abnormal cells.— Judith Groch, The New York Times, 20 Nov. 2001 The results of treatment of patients with gallstones are less successful in individuals with atypical pain patterns or painless dyspepsia …The Journal of the American Medical Association, 24 Feb. 1993 In some patients with atypical dysgenesis, the smear may show slight proliferation.— George L Wied et al., Compendium on Diagnostic Cytology, 1976

2 : relating to or being an antipsychotic drug (such as aripiprazole and risperidone) that tends to produce fewer adverse side effects on movement (such as akathisia or dyskinesia) than previously used antipsychotic drugs (such as haloperidol) Atypical antipsychotics work more precisely, manipulating both dopamine and serotonin and suppressing symptoms without causing so many associated problems.— Jeffrey Kluger, Time, 19 Aug. 2002 Although studies indicated that the atypical drugs are similar to the conventional drugs in reducing psychotic symptoms and produce few neurologic effects, the evidence of their superior efficacy has been neither consistent nor robust …— Jeffrey A. Lieberman et al., The New England Journal of Medicine, 22 Sept. 2005

Other Words from atypical

atypically \(ˈ)ā-​ˈtip-​i-​k(ə-​)lē \ adverb
Atypically depressed patients often show a different clinical picture from those with “classical” major depression. — Ronald Pies, The New York Times, 31 July 2007



Medical Definition of atypical (Entry 2 of 2)

: an atypical antipsychotic drug ((see atypical entry 1 sense 2)) Her 24-year-old daughter, diagnosed with schizophrenia in 1993, had problems with two types of atypicals before a third proved successful.— Stephaan Harris, USA Today, 28 June 1999

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More from Merriam-Webster on atypical

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for atypical

Spanish Central: Translation of atypical

Nglish: Translation of atypical for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of atypical for Arabic Speakers

Comments on atypical

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living or existing for a long time

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