noun \ˈnȯrm\

Definition of norm

  1. 1 :  an authoritative standard :  model

  2. 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. 3 :  average: such asa :  a set standard of development or achievement usually derived from the average or median achievement of a large groupb :  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 classesc :  a widespread or usual practice, procedure, or custom standing ovations became the norm Bilingualism is the norm in many countries.

  4. 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 1vector 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 5a) or of the components of a vectorb :  the greatest distance between two successive points of a set of points that partition an interval (see interval 2a) into smaller intervals

Examples of norm in a sentence

  1. She scored well above the norm in math.

  2. Smaller families have become the norm.

  3. Women used to stay at home to take care of the children, but that's no longer the norm.

Origin and Etymology of norm

borrowed from Latin norma “carpenter's square, pattern,” probably borrowed from an Etruscan adaptation of Greek gnṓmōn “carpenter's square, indicator on a sundial” — more at gnomon

First Known Use: 1674

Synonym Discussion of 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

NORM Defined for English Language Learners


noun \ˈnȯrm\

Definition of norm for English Language Learners

  • norms : standards of proper or acceptable behavior

  • the norm : an average level of development or achievement

  • the norm : something (such as a behavior or way of doing something) that is usual or expected

NORM Defined for Kids


noun \ˈnȯrm\

Definition of norm for Students

  1. 1 :  1average 2

  2. 2 :  a common practice

Medical Dictionary


noun \ˈnȯ(ə)rm\

Medical Definition of norm

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

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quaintly unconventional or refined

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