norm

noun
\ ˈnȯrm How to pronounce norm (audio) \

Definition of norm

1 : an authoritative standard : model
2 : a principle of right action binding upon the members of a group and serving to guide, control, or regulate proper and acceptable behavior No society lacks norms governing conduct.— Robert K. Merton
3 : average: such as
a : a set standard of development or achievement usually derived from the average or median achievement of a large group
b : a pattern or trait taken to be typical in the behavior of a social group studies aimed at establishing the norms of sexual behavior among the middle classes
c : a widespread or usual practice, procedure, or custom standing ovations became the norm Bilingualism is the norm in many countries.
4a : a real-valued nonnegative function defined on a vector space with value analogous to length and satisfying the conditions that the function is zero if and only if the vector (see vector entry 1 sense 1a) is zero, the function of the product of a scalar and a vector is equal to the product of the absolute value of the scalar and the function of the vector, and the function of the sum of two vectors is less than or equal to the sum of the functions of the two vectors specifically : the square root of the sum of the squares of the absolute values of the elements of a matrix (see matrix sense 5a) or of the components of a vector
b : the greatest distance between two successive points of a set of points that partition an interval (see interval sense 3) into smaller intervals

Synonyms for norm

Synonyms

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Choose the Right Synonym for norm

average, mean, median, norm mean something that represents a middle point. average is the quotient obtained by dividing the sum total of a set of figures by the number of figures. scored an average of 85 on tests mean may be the simple average or it may represent value midway between two extremes. a high of 70° and a low of 50° give a mean of 60° median applies to the value that represents the point at which there are as many instances above as there are below. average of a group of persons earning 3, 4, 5, 8, and 10 dollars an hour is 6 dollars, whereas the median is 5 dollars norm means the average of performance of a significantly large group, class, or grade. scores about the norm for fifth grade arithmetic

Examples of norm in a Sentence

She scored well above the norm in math. Smaller families have become the norm. Women used to stay at home to take care of the children, but that's no longer the norm.
Recent Examples on the Web Don't be afraid to go beyond the 'norm' and put any and everything on your brows. Daisy Maldonado, Allure, 15 May 2022 The norm is to build or buy topic-centric programs and content that explore isolated skill sets with little to no incorporation of an organization’s DNA. David James, Forbes, 13 May 2022 Every international norm has been turned upside down. Taylor Wilson, USA TODAY, 11 May 2022 Telehealth become the norm and COVID-19 information was disseminated through social media. Arlyssa D. Becenti, The Arizona Republic, 11 May 2022 This fragrance is perfect for the risk-takers, the men who defy the norm and resist trends. Grooming Playbook, The Salt Lake Tribune, 10 May 2022 Colorful hats and attire are the norm at the Derby. Lauren Booker, BostonGlobe.com, 7 May 2022 But there are still questions about whether — in light of what companies and countries have learned — major products will return to the steady price declines that were the norm before the coronavirus. New York Times, 3 May 2022 Though some presence of volunteers is typical during a migration crisis, their prevalence in Warsaw seemed far beyond the norm. Caitlin Dickerson, The Atlantic, 3 May 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'norm.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of norm

1674, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for norm

borrowed from Latin norma "carpenterʼs square, pattern," probably borrowed from an Etruscan adaptation of Greek gnṓmōn "carpenterʼs square, indicator on a sundial" — more at gnomon

Learn More About norm

Dictionary Entries Near norm

norlander

norm

norma

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for norm

Last Updated

17 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Norm.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/norm. Accessed 20 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for norm

norm

noun
\ ˈnȯrm How to pronounce norm (audio) \

Kids Definition of norm

2 : a common practice

norm

noun
\ ˈnȯ(ə)rm How to pronounce norm (audio) \

Medical Definition of norm

: an established standard or average: as
a : a set standard of development or achievement usually derived from the average or median achievement of a large group
b : a pattern or trait taken to be typical in the behavior of a social group

More from Merriam-Webster on norm

Nglish: Translation of norm for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of norm for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about norm

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Which Word Does Not Belong?

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!