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

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 That response is harrowing, but not atypical — more often than not, such a reaction is a way to cope. Ella Cerón, Teen Vogue, "For Latinx-American Kids, Fear of La Migra Has Always Existed," 3 July 2018 Body hair's presence is just that atypical, even though few things are more natural and universal than leg stubble. Deanna Pai, Glamour, "Billie's New Campaign Is the First Razor Ad to Actually Show Body Hair," 26 June 2018 That was a very atypical ending for a game with Brad in it. Kevin Acee,, "Padres lose to Braves as bats wilt in heat," 17 June 2018 Regardless of Saturday's outcome, Justify's impressive 3-year-old campaign raises the question of whether there is a lesson to be learned from his atypical, though not unheard of, delayed start to competition. Liz Clarke,, "Justify's path to cusp of Triple Crown is unusual. But so is training a 1,380-pound athlete.," 7 June 2018 Baker Mayfield, the No. 1 pick of the 2018 draft—six years after the Seahawks took Wilson—is the latest example of an atypical (read: short) passer taken near the top of the NFL draft. Albert Breer,, "Which Quarterbacks Will Rise to the Top of the 2019 NFL Draft Class?," 10 July 2018 Isner has also benefited from an atypical English summer with constant heat that has baked the courts into a harder surface. Ben Rothenberg, New York Times, "John Isner Tries to Wring Happy Memories From His ‘House of Horrors’," 9 July 2018 Sporting Kansas City’s grip on first place stretched nearly four months, its stay there marked by an offense that had sprung to life and a defense that had recovered from an atypical start. Sam Mcdowell, kansascity, "Sporting KC loses at RSL, falls out of first place in West for first time in 16 weeks," 4 July 2018

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

25 Aug 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

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the setting in which something occurs

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