out·​li·​er | \ ˈau̇t-ˌlī(-ə)r How to pronounce outlier (audio) \

Definition of outlier

1 : a person whose residence and place of business are at a distance His house was a place of refuge for outliers.
2 : something (such as a geological feature) that is situated away from or classed differently from a main or related body The island is an outlier on the southeast side of the archipelago.
3a : a statistical observation that is markedly different in value from the others of the sample Values that are outliers give disproportionate weight to larger over smaller values.
b : a person or thing that is atypical within a particular group, class, or category She was an outlier when she launched her cruelty-free, sustainably minded brand in 2001, but has found the centre of gravity shifting in her direction.— Jess Cartner-Morley Among the world's wealthy nations, the United States is an outlier on this issue: Americans have the lowest national minimum wage, relative to the median wage, of any of the wealthy nations represented in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.— Christopher Ingraham

Examples of outlier in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The black was an outlier, though; most of Hu’s dresses are bursting with color. Emily Farra, Vogue, "Caroline Hu Is Our First Discovery of NYFW—And Her Dresses Belong at the Oscars," 10 Feb. 2019 Since the 18th century, explorers have noted strange verdant outliers at the bottom of the world. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Green Icebergs Could Be Secretly Feeding All Ocean Life," 7 Mar. 2019 Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo talks about his team's 'outlier' loss to the Dodgers on Wednesday night. Nick Piecoro, azcentral, "Patrick Corbin muddles through outing as Diamondbacks fall to Dodgers," 10 May 2018 Soutine, born in a shtetl in the Lithuanian part of Russia (now Belarus) in 1893, the tenth of eleven children in a family of menders (a caste below tailors), was an outlier all his life. Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker, "The Vulnerable Ferocity of Chaim Soutine," 7 May 2018 Some call those companies outliers and point to numerous studies that have found that companies with high ESG scores tend to outperform. Rob Curran, WSJ, "PG&E’s Bankruptcy Shows Blindspots in Green Investing," 14 Feb. 2019 Japan's Nikkei 225 index was an outlier and rose 0.5 percent. Stan Choe, USA TODAY, "US stocks and bond yields dip amid trade worries with China," 15 June 2018 Another Asian export powerhouse, Korea, reported weak trade data for January on Thursday, suggesting the strong Chinese figures may be an outlier that doesn’t mean global demand has suddenly improved. Andrew Peaple, WSJ, "China’s Economy Needs More Than a Valentine’s Surprise," 14 Feb. 2019 Is our eight-planet solar system typical, or an outlier? Andrew Moseman, Popular Mechanics, "Kepler's Last Light, and Its Towering Legacy," 8 Feb. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'outlier.' 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 outlier

1606, in the meaning defined at sense 3b

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Last Updated

23 Apr 2019

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The first known use of outlier was in 1606

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not to be persuaded, moved, or stopped

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