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

Compared to other high-profile film festivals, Cannes is somewhat of an outlier. refinery29.com, "This Fact Will Make You View The Cannes Film Festival Differently," 8 May 2018 Monsanto has attacked the international research agency’s opinion as an outlier. Sudhin Thanawala, The Seattle Times, "Lawsuits alleging Roundup caused cancer can move forward," 10 July 2018 The range of reds felt like the heart of the enterprise, and the small but potent pop of orange seemed to concentrate titles by punkish outliers. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A library and an unexpected journey toward household togetherness," 28 June 2018 The extra pay requirement for stores on Sundays made Massachusetts an outlier. Jon Chesto, BostonGlobe.com, "Retailers walk away from Beacon Hill talks with victories," 20 June 2018 Chanters and Ciphers are bigger outliers than ever. Steven Strom, Ars Technica, "Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire," 4 June 2018 The steroids era had all these crazy outlier performances, and that hasn’t materialized in this era. Jeremy Venook, The Atlantic, "What Should MLB Do About the 'Juiced' Ball Debate?," 10 May 2018 Evolutionary outlier Three decades is a long time, even in car years. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "All highs, no lows: The 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata," 7 July 2018 There are, of course, outliers to that range, says Miller. Katie Heaney, The Cut, "Everything You Need to Know About Cognitive Behavioral Therapy," 1 June 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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Statistics for outlier

Last Updated

5 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for outlier

The first known use of outlier was in 1606

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Comments on outlier

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to express warning or disapproval

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