out·​li·​er ˈau̇t-ˌlī(-ə)r How to pronounce outlier (audio)
: a person whose residence and place of business are at a distance
His house was a place of refuge for outliers.
: something (such as a geologic 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.
: 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.
: 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 However, these numbers may be an outlier because transaction volume across the entire industry ticked up in Q4 last year as expectations of the spot bitcoin ETFs led to a bull run. Abubakar Nur Khalil, Forbes, 13 Feb. 2024 But these impressive hauls are considered outliers and stand in dramatic contrast to Oscars of yore, where there hasn’t been much overlap between box office hits and nominees. Rebecca Rubin, Variety, 12 Feb. 2024 So whenever something is an outlier, people need to have an explanation. Ryan Faughnder, Los Angeles Times, 6 Feb. 2024 In a statement announcing the new initiative, Attorney General Merrick Garland — who hinted at these new measures in remarks earlier this month — noted that the District as an outlier in terms of rising crime. Peter Hermann, Washington Post, 26 Jan. 2024 But it has been transformed, statistically and morally, from a normal feature of childhood to a scandalous outlier—one that mostly affects children from low-income families. Rachel Silverman Bonnifield, Foreign Affairs, 22 Jan. 2024 The debate was something of an oddity in modern American politics, so perhaps it can be dismissed as an outlier. James Freeman, WSJ, 11 Jan. 2024 Microsoft has been an outlier in the dealmaking downturn. Paresh Dave, WIRED, 2 Feb. 2024 Last year even topped 2015’s outlier record in which breaches at Anthem, Premier Blue Cross and Excellus exposed data from tens of millions of people, tipping the total number impacted to more than 112 million. Mohana Ravindranath, STAT, 2 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'outlier.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1606, in the meaning defined at sense 3b

Time Traveler
The first known use of outlier was in 1606

Dictionary Entries Near outlier

Cite this Entry

“Outlier.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/outlier. Accessed 27 Feb. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on outlier

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!