atyp·​i·​cal | \ (ˌ)ā-ˈti-pi-kəl How to pronounce atypical (audio) \

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 How to pronounce atypicality (audio) \ noun, plural atypicalities
atypically \ (ˌ)ā-​ˈti-​pi-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce atypically (audio) \ 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

Hamm's self-effacement is refreshing—and atypical—in an age when schools compete to land record-setting bequests earmarked for massive buildings named after wealthy alums. Kevin Conley, Town & Country, "Secret Sharer," 1 May 2014 Rwanda is atypical: Here, women are usually the ones providing for the family, bringing home 88 percent of the household’s income, and should be less at risk of violence. Caterina Clerici & Eléonore Hamelin, Marie Claire, "Rwanda's Future Is Female," 1 Feb. 2019 The Badgers are having an atypical season, below .500 both overall and in the Big Ten. Detroit Free Press Staff, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan Wolverines defeat Wisconsin Badgers, 83-72," 11 Feb. 2018 There are two kinds of antipsychotics: first-generation (typical) and second-generation (atypical), the NIMH explains. Korin Miller, SELF, "5 Bipolar Disorder Treatments You Should Know About," 30 Nov. 2018 After what has been an atypical year for Hollywood, the show was mainly notable for acknowledging troubles that are harder to fix than an envelope mixup. James Poniewozik, New York Times, "At the Oscars, Some Self-Examination Among the Self-Celebration," 4 Mar. 2018 The book is known for its atypical narrative style, and tells a story with everything from emails to emergency room bills. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Where'd You Go, Bernadette," 18 Dec. 2018 Hillsdale’s demographics are 17 percent low income, 39 percent white, 29 percent Hispanic, 22 percent Asian/Pacific Islander, 1 percent black and 11 percent multiethnic — a not atypical California suburb. Jay Mathews, Washington Post, "Duck! Ninth-graders learn on the battlefield while squirt guns squirt.," 25 Mar. 2018 There are actually two types of antipsychotic drugs: typical and atypical, which produce different levels of side effects. Kasandra Brabaw, SELF, "7 Myths You Might Believe About Antipsychotic Medications," 7 Dec. 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

21 Apr 2019

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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 How to pronounce atypical (audio) \

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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Comments on atypical

What made you want to look up atypical? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to affect and impair by alcohol or a drug

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