atypical

adjective

atyp·​i·​cal (ˌ)ā-ˈti-pi-kəl How to pronounce atypical (audio)
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
atypicality noun
plural atypicalities
atypically 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 Emma Stone, Poor Things Keeping up with category tradition, Best Actress is perhaps the most interesting acting race of the year — thanks to the atypical contenders vying for the top prize. Joey Nolfi, EW.com, 13 Feb. 2024 What’s atypical in this poll is the specificity brought to the question. Jeanne Allen, Forbes, 12 Feb. 2024 Occasional incorrectly reported, atypical home sales and special circumstances may be listed or alter the average cost per square foot. Bay Area News Group, The Mercury News, 5 Feb. 2024 Researchers first encountered these atypical hermit crab homes in photographs from Shawn Miller, a wildlife photographer in Okinawa, Japan, according to a study published Jan. 6 in the journal Science of the Total Environment. Aspen Pflughoeft, Miami Herald, 30 Jan. 2024 While typical cases may not need further testing, ultrasonography and electrodiagnostic studies are used for atypical cases to confirm the diagnosis and exclude other conditions. Benjamin Plackett, Discover Magazine, 27 Jan. 2024 Chowder is thick, creamy, and with a velvety texture, often made by adding heavy cream or milk along with flour as a thickener—atypical for standard soups. Southern Living Test Kitchen, Southern Living, 3 Dec. 2023 Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic On 102-passenger National Geographic Orion, Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic offers an atypical 16-day Kimberley sail by cruising between Broome and Bali, Indonesia, rather than just between Broome and Darwin, in May, June, and July 2024. Janice Wald Henderson, Travel + Leisure, 17 Nov. 2023 What is atypical in this situation is that the DGA didn’t have to wait until its next round of contract negotiations in several years to make these adjustments, but rather was able to return to the bargaining table with the AMPTP not long after its own negotiations concluded. Katie Kilkenny, The Hollywood Reporter, 25 Jan. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'atypical.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

see typical

First Known Use

1845, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of atypical was in 1845

Dictionary Entries Near atypical

Cite this Entry

“Atypical.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/atypical. Accessed 23 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

atypical

adjective
atyp·​i·​cal (ˈ)ā-ˈtip-i-kəl How to pronounce atypical (audio)
: not typical : irregular
atypically adverb

Medical Definition

atypical

1 of 2 adjective
atyp·​i·​cal (ˈ)ā-ˈtip-i-kəl How to pronounce atypical (audio)
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
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
In some patients with atypical dysgenesis, the smear may show slight proliferation.George L Wied et al., Compendium on Diagnostic Cytology
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
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
atypically adverb
Atypically depressed patients often show a different clinical picture from those with "classical" major depression. Ronald Pies, The New York Times

atypical

2 of 2 noun
: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on atypical

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