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

The Border Patrol and prosecutors portrayed Ortiz as an outlier who is not representative of the thousands of employees working for the agency around the country. Nomaan Merchant, The Seattle Times, "Arrest shows challenge of keeping rogues off Border Patrol," 18 Sep. 2018 And though primaries tend to bring out a small and fervent slice of their parties, the Republican Party of Virginia isn't treating Stewart as an outlier. Eugene Scott, Washington Post, "Another candidate with problematic views on race just won his GOP primary," 13 June 2018 Donald’s generational production as an interior lineman would seem to peg him as an outlier. Albert Breer, SI.com, "Dolphins Reset, Patriots Regroup, NFL Recharges," 4 June 2018 The Rams beat the Chiefs 54-51 and there are plenty of numbers to document just how much of an outlier this game was. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "Rams-Chiefs Was a Crystal Ball Into the NFL’s Future," 20 Nov. 2018 Smaller, lightweight payloads are key to that directive. Because of its aerial deployment tech, Virgin Orbit is something of an outlier in the commercial rush to decrease the cost of rocket launches. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Virgin Orbit Flies Converted 747 With Rocket Attached to Its Wing For First Time," 19 Nov. 2018 This is not Trump acting as some kind of outlier; this is the latest sign that elections have consequences. Howard Kurtz, Fox News, "Liberal pundits rip Kennedy, demand any Trump nominee be stopped," 29 June 2018 Gooey banoffee pudding was a bit of an outlier, reading more English than Italian, but its caramel pudding and thick layer of sweet cookie crumbs were hard to resist. Kate Washington, sacbee, "It's not flashy or splashy, but Roseville's Ciao excels at cooking classic Italian," 8 June 2018 That makes him something of an outlier in vaccinology: Burt Dorman has actually made vaccines. Adam Rogers, WIRED, "The Man Who Says Science Blew Its Best Shot at an AIDS Vaccine," 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

12 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for outlier

The first known use of outlier was in 1606

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with outlier

Nglish: Translation of outlier for Spanish Speakers

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