deviating from what is standard, normal, or expected


US English

UK English

Part of Speech



abnormal, atypical, irregular, peculiar, strange, unique, unconventional, different, unorthodox, aberrant


normal, typical, standard, conventional, customary, usual, regular

Word Forms

Part of Speech Words
Noun anomalist, anomaly, anomalousnesses, anomalousness, anomalists, anomalies
Verb None
Adjective anomalous
Adverb anomalously

Example Sentences

  • The anomalous discovery of a previously unknown species in the depths of the ocean sparked excitement among scientists, challenging existing theories and prompting a reevaluation of our understanding of marine biodiversity and the vast possibilities of life in unexplored ecosystems.

  • Her behavior was so anomalous that her friends were worried about her mental state.

  • The company’s profits for the quarter were anomalous compared to previous years.

  • The mountain range had an anomalous formation that geologists were eager to study.


The word “anomalous” is an adjective that describes something that deviates from what is considered standard, normal, or expected. It can be used to describe a wide range of things, from physical objects and natural phenomena to human behavior and social patterns. For example, an anomalous weather pattern may be one that is unexpected or unusual for a particular time and place. Similarly, an anomalous finding in a scientific experiment may be one that is inconsistent with established theories or models.

The prefix “a-” in “anomalous” means “not” or “without,” and the root word “nomos” comes from the Greek word for “law” or “custom.” Together, they form a word that describes something that is “without law” or “not according to custom.”

Anomalous can also be used to describe people who are different from what is considered typical or conventional. For example, someone’s beliefs, values, or behaviors may be considered anomalous if they deviate from the norms of their society or culture. In this sense, the word can have a negative connotation, implying that the person is unusual or deviant in some way.

In scientific research, anomalous data or findings are often of great interest to researchers because they may suggest new and previously unknown phenomena. However, anomalous data can also be a sign of errors in measurement or experimental design, so scientists must take care to investigate anomalous results thoroughly to determine their cause.

Other variations of the word “anomalous” include “anomaly,” which is a noun that refers to something that is anomalous, and “anomalously,” which is an adverb that describes something that is anomalous in nature.