normal

1 of 2

adjective

nor·​mal ˈnȯr-məl How to pronounce normal (audio)
1
a
: conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern : characterized by that which is considered usual, typical, or routine
normal working hours
under normal circumstances
It was just a normal, average day.
He had a normal childhood.
Their reaction to the news was normal and expected.
The noise made it impossible to carry on a normal conversation.
Challenges are a normal part of life; remind yourself of that—and keep going. Gabrielle Gayagoy
b
: according with, constituting, or not deviating from a norm, rule, procedure, or principle
The normal spelling rule is "i before e, except after c."
They filed the paperwork in the normal way.
The plane was able to make a normal approach and landing.
… is your home office either your principal place of work or a place where you meet with customers or clients in the normal course of business? Rosalind Resnick and Susie Archer
2
: occurring naturally
normal immunity
Cornell researchers showed that monarch butterflies that fed on leaves dusted with pollen from this [genetically] modified corn grew less and had higher mortality than larvae that fed on leaves dusted with normal pollen. Russell Schoch
3
a
: approximating the statistical average or norm
The west coast had normal rainfall for the season.
normal scores for the tenth grade algebra exam
a country's normal death rate
Their insulin and blood sugar levels are within normal range. Moises Velasquez-Manoff
b
: generally free from physical or mental impairment or dysfunction : exhibiting or marked by healthy or sound functioning
normal reflexes
Fifteen normal subjects and 40 asthmatics of variable severity were studied. J. Bousquet et al.
However, my experience is that there are many, many normal people with no psychiatric illness who have music playing in their head almost all the time or all the time. Keith W. Roach
c
: not exhibiting defect or irregularity
normal and malignant cells
a normal heart
d
: within a range considered safe, healthy, or optimal
normal blood pressure
normal lab tests
4
a
of a solution : having a concentration of one gram equivalent of solute per liter
b
: containing neither basic hydroxyl nor acid hydrogen
normal silver phosphate
c
: not associated
normal molecules
d
: having a straight-chain structure
normal butyl alcohol
5
: perpendicular
especially : perpendicular to a tangent (see tangent entry 1 sense 3) at a point of tangency
6
of a subgroup : having the property that every coset produced by operating on the left by a given element is equal to the coset produced by operating on the right by the same element
7
: relating to, involving, or being a normal curve or normal distribution
normal approximation to the binomial distribution
8
of a matrix : having the property of commutativity under multiplication by the transpose of the matrix (see matrix sense 5a) each of whose elements is a conjugate (see conjugate entry 1 sense 2b) complex number with respect to the corresponding element of the given matrix
normality noun
normally adverb

normal

2 of 2

noun

1
: a form or state regarded as the norm : standard
2
: one that is normal
3
a
: a normal line
b
: the portion of a normal line to a plane curve between the curve and the x-axis
Choose the Right Synonym for normal

regular, normal, typical, natural mean being of the sort or kind that is expected as usual, ordinary, or average.

regular stresses conformity to a rule, standard, or pattern.

the club's regular monthly meeting

normal implies lack of deviation from what has been discovered or established as the most usual or expected.

normal behavior for a two-year-old

typical implies showing all important traits of a type, class, or group and may suggest lack of strong individuality.

a typical small town

natural applies to what conforms to a thing's essential nature, function, or mode of being.

the natural love of a mother for her child

Example Sentences

Adjective He had a normal childhood. These little setbacks are a normal part of life. a potato twice as big as normal size Despite her illness, she was able to lead a normal life. They had a normal, healthy baby. Normal people don't react that way. Noun Your blood pressure is higher than normal. Let's hope everything returns to normal soon. I'm glad that things are back to normal. Oil prices are above normal. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
With air travel and road-tripping mostly returning to normal, people are more eager to get out and explore than ever—especially after spending so much time (for the most part) grounded. Mike Richard, Men's Health, 24 Nov. 2022 Organizers of the 33rd edition of the Singapore International Film Festival are naturally keen to prove that the event is as nearly as possible back to normal after two years of COVID turbulence. Patrick Frater, Variety, 24 Nov. 2022 In New York City Ballet’s production this year, the children, most of them new to the show, are back to normal. Gia Kourlas Erik Tanner, New York Times, 24 Nov. 2022 Despite the first day’s hiccups, traffic in the SENTRI lanes soon returned to normal following installation of the Mexican inspection point. San Diego Union-Tribune, 23 Nov. 2022 That news lifted hopes in the region that the economy might soon return to normal. Quartz, 23 Nov. 2022 High pressure is delivering impressively nice days with nearly cloudless skies as temperatures slowly return to normal. Matt Rogers, Washington Post, 22 Nov. 2022 In short, Thanksgiving travel is getting back to normal, for better or worse. Alison Sider, WSJ, 22 Nov. 2022 Over the last year, life in the city has inched back to normal for many people who had their usual routines hijacked by the pandemic. Julia O'malley, Anchorage Daily News, 22 Nov. 2022
Noun
The new normal of work from remote locations has profoundly impacted the role of a CISO. Sriram Tarikere, Forbes, 5 July 2022 As the workforce returns to the office, revenue-generating teams can’t go back to the old normal of mass, generic outreach. Kris Rudeegraap, Forbes, 16 June 2021 Along with a return to the new normal comes a need for travelers to recapture that vibe that accompanies certain destinations. Michael Alpiner, Forbes, 10 May 2021 Despite no previous experience, Hendon is adjusting to the new normal of officiating, just like the rest of his colleagues. Joseph Hoyt, Dallas News, 24 Aug. 2020 The world is slowly beginning to reopen, and new normals are emerging as nations navigate life amid a global pandemic. Editors, USA TODAY, 17 May 2020 Without that discussion, our new normals may become a world in which a little bit more of our inner selves is out there in the ether, at risk of misuse. Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, 16 May 2020 Computer model forecasts had suggested large parts of the Antarctic peninsula would be between 20 and 40 degrees above normal between Feb. 7 and Feb. 9, as an unusually strong high-pressure zone was in the vicinity. Andrew Freedman, Anchorage Daily News, 14 Feb. 2020 Temperatures will remain within a few degrees of seasonal normals through at least midweek. oregonlive, 10 Feb. 2020 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Adjective

borrowed from Latin normālis "made according to a carpenter's square, forming a right angle," from norma "carpenter's square" + -ālis -al entry 1 — more at norm

Noun

borrowed from New Latin normālis, noun derivative of Latin normālis "forming a right angle" — more at normal entry 1

First Known Use

Adjective

1704, in the meaning defined at sense 5

Noun

1728, in the meaning defined at sense 3a

Time Traveler
The first known use of normal was in 1704

Dictionary Entries Near normal

Cite this Entry

“Normal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/normal. Accessed 30 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

normal 1 of 2

adjective

nor·​mal ˈnȯr-məl How to pronounce normal (audio)
1
2
: of the regular or usual kind
3
a
: relating to or marked by average intelligence or development
b
: free from sickness of body or mind : sane, sound
normally adverb

normal

2 of 2

noun

1
: a normal line
2
: a person or thing that is normal
3
: a form or state regarded as the usual : average

Medical Definition

normal 1 of 2

adjective

nor·​mal ˈnȯr-məl How to pronounce normal (audio)
1
a
: conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern : characterized by that which is considered usual, typical, or routine
a normal childhood
Great progress has been made in the past few years in the ability to differentiate normal aging-related memory changes from the impairments associated with dementia, including Alzheimer disease … C. Munro Cullum et al., The Journal of the American Medical Association
b
: approximating the statistical average or norm
normal cases of infectious disease
a country's normal birth rate
2
a
: generally free from physical or mental impairment or dysfunction : exhibiting or marked by healthy or sound functioning
normal reflexes
Fifteen normal subjects and 40 asthmatics of variable severity were studied. J. Bousquet et al., American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
b
: not exhibiting defect or irregularity
a normal spine
normal cells
c
: within a range considered safe, healthy, or optimal
normal blood pressure
normal lab results
3
a
of a solution : having a concentration of one gram equivalent of solute per liter
b
: containing neither basic hydrogen nor acid hydrogen
normal phosphate of silver
c
: not associated
normal molecules
d
: having a straight-chain structure
normal pentane
normally adverb

normal

2 of 2

noun

: a subject who is normal

Geographical Definition

Normal

geographical name

Nor·​mal ˈnȯr-məl How to pronounce Normal (audio)
town north of Bloomington in central Illinois population 52,497

More from Merriam-Webster on normal

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