out·​li·​er | \ ˈau̇t-ˌlī(-ə)r \

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

Since then, third-party apps have been adding dark themes to go along with it, but there have been a handful of notable outliers, like Slack and Google Chrome. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "macOS Mojave’s dark mode is coming to Google Chrome," 11 Dec. 2018 There's a similarly ascetic touch with salt in the pizzas, which range from a conventional Margherita to an outlier dressed with braised lamb and ricotta mixed with pea puree. Mike Sula, Chicago Reader, "Saba is stealthy Italian that might surprise traditionalists," 31 May 2018 But Curbelo is an outlier in that he’s gone against the mainstream of his own party to propose legislation to combat climate change. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Republicans attack Florida Democratic candidate for taking “dirty coal money.” Wait, what?," 2 Nov. 2018 That makes the Philippines an outlier in a world where most migrant workers are men. Rina Chandran, The Christian Science Monitor, "As climate change worsens, more Filipino women migrate," 30 Mar. 2018 But in fact, Prach notes that Lagerfeld rarely diverges from a certain 1930s-inspired silhouette with a quasi-square toe (one obvious outlier: the haute couture sneakers from 2014, also produced by Massaro). Amy Verner, Vogue, "Vogue Got an Exclusive Tour of Chanel’s Ateliers While Tonight’s Métiers d’Art Collection Was Being Made," 5 Dec. 2018 Apple Music was the biggest outlier, with more than 50 million paid and free-trial listeners. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "Apple Music arrives on Amazon’s Echo speakers starting December 17," 30 Nov. 2018 So, if a Daphnia lives for 60 days while given a particular drug, is that a potential silver bullet or simply the water flea equivalent of human outlier, akin to his father living to 96? Karen Weintraub, STAT, "An anti-aging researcher faces the loss of his inspiration: his 96-year-old father," 20 June 2018 So far, this is an outlier compared to the other public polls done on the issue. German Lopez, Vox, "One in 10 potential Florida voters can’t legally vote. Amendment 4 could change that.," 6 Nov. 2018

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

15 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for outlier

The first known use of outlier was in 1606

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Nglish: Translation of outlier for Spanish Speakers

Comments on outlier

What made you want to look up outlier? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to gather or build up little by little

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