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 day began with Kenta Maeda extending his status as an outlier at Coors Field. Jorge Castillo, latimes.com, "Dodgers capitalize on big sixth inning to split series with Rockies," 30 June 2019 Supporters are inclined to see most applications of the law as positive and to dismiss cases like Ana’s as outliers. Jenna Krajeski, The New Yorker, "A Victim of Terrorism Faces Deportation for Helping Terrorists," 11 June 2019 That trenchant rhyme is an outlier among Mr. Cale’s lyrics, which generally abjure technical polish in favor of imagery and emotion. New York Times, "Review: Surviving a Family From Hell in ‘We’re Only Alive’," 27 June 2019 In a movie world of bantamweight scares, designed primarily to get you to the next gotcha, writer-director Ari Aster is an outlier. Michael Phillips, chicagotribune.com, "‘Midsommar’ review: ‘Hereditary’ director follows up with a scary vacation trip," 25 June 2019 Seattle is an outlier, but its push is part of a broader trend to undo tough drug penalties and bolster treatment. Author: Justin Jouvenal, Anchorage Daily News, "No charges for personal drug possession: Seattle’s bold gamble to bring ‘peace’ after the war on drugs," 24 June 2019 In her tender devotion to robotic pets, Burns may be an outlier — for now. Kate Baggaley, NBC News, "New companion robots can't do much but make us love them," 23 June 2019 But the $614 million that Disney-Marvel booked may turn out to be an outlier. Steven Zeitchik, Washington Post, "The trade war’s unlikely victim: Hollywood," 14 June 2019 And now that that specter has been raised, Steinhardt does not seem to be an outlier. Dan Duray, Town & Country, "When Is a High-Maintenance Donor Not Worth the Trouble?," 20 May 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

16 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for outlier

The first known use of outlier was in 1606

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