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 2a) into smaller intervals

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Synonyms for norm

Synonyms

average, normal, par, standard

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Economists in this camp emphasize changing norms, institutions, and politics — not just market forces — as important drivers of the widening gulf between rich and poor. Susan Dynarski, New York Times, "Fresh Proof That Strong Unions Help Reduce Income Inequality," 6 July 2018 As a result, areas exposed to the church for longer developed more impersonal norms, like individualism and impartial treatment, as opposed to obedience and nepotism. Kevin Lewis, BostonGlobe.com, "Looking for negative signals," 6 July 2018 Speedos and sungas and thong bikinis are the seaside norm, no matter your body shape (nobody’s judging in Rio), and breezy, light and polychrome are the de facto wardrobe codes, day to night. Nick Remsen, Vogue, "Rio de Janeiro, Right Now: 5 Reasons to Visit the Extraordinary Brazilian City," 19 Mar. 2019 If a rogue scientist tinkering quietly in a lab can smash through norms, local laws, and meddle with the human genome to feed his own ego or scientific curiosity, the worry is that many more dangerous applications of CRISPR could be in store. Julia Belluz, Vox, "Is the CRISPR baby controversy the start of a terrifying new chapter in gene editing?," 22 Jan. 2019 That is better than the norm; the party that does not control the White House has gained an average of 33 House seats during the midterms since 1862. Linda Qiu, The Seattle Times, "A Fact-Checker’s Guide to Thanksgiving Politics," 21 Nov. 2018 As with any 4K streamer, 4K HDR content is still an exception more than the norm, but Netflix, YouTube, Vudu, and others have a fair bit of it already, and the library is growing as time rolls on. Jeff Dunn, Ars Technica, "The Ars Technica Father’s Day gift guide," 13 June 2018 Combining both national and state polls, 2016 errors were slightly lower than the historical norm. Scott Clement, Washington Post, "‘The sky is not falling’: Two major studies show election polls are not getting less accurate," 1 June 2018 Instagram has quietly started testing a horizontal feed for some users, a huge sideways shift from the vertically-scrolling user experience that’s been the norm since the app launched. Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge, "Instagram is testing a new horizontal feed," 27 Dec. 2018

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.

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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

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Dictionary Entries near norm

norito

norland

norlander

norm

norma

Norma

normal

Statistics for norm

Last Updated

15 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for norm

The first known use of norm was in 1674

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More Definitions for norm

norm

noun

English Language Learners Definition of norm

: standards of proper or acceptable behavior
: an average level of development or achievement
: something (such as a behavior or way of doing something) that is usual or expected

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on norm

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with norm

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for norm

Spanish Central: Translation of norm

Nglish: Translation of norm for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of norm for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about norm

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