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Alternative forms[edit]


From ab- +‎ normal. First attested in 1835, replacing the earlier anormal and even earlier abnormous,[1] from Latin abnormis (departing from normal), from either (ab- (away from) + norma (rule, norm)),[2] or Ancient Greek ἀνώμαλος (anṓmalos)[3].


  • (file)
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈæbˌnɔɹ.ml̩/, /əbˈnɔɹ.ml̩/
  • Rhymes: -ɔː(ɹ)məl


abnormal (comparative more abnormal, superlative most abnormal)

  1. Not conforming to rule or system; deviating from the usual or normal type. [First attested around the mid 19th century.][4]
    • 1899, Arthur Conan Doyle, chapter 6, in A Duet:
      And then after an abnormal meal, which was either a very late breakfast or a very early lunch, they drove on to Victoria Station.
  2. Of or pertaining to that which is irregular, in particular, behaviour that deviates from norms of social propriety or accepted standards of mental health. [First attested around the early 20th century.][4]
    • 1904, Jack London, chapter 23, in The Sea Wolf:
      Furuseth was right; I was abnormal, an "emotionless monster," a strange bookish creature, capable of pleasuring in sensations only of the mind.


Derived terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


abnormal (plural abnormals)

  1. A person or object that is not normal.


  1. ^ Elliott K. Dobbie, C. William Dunmore, Robert K. Barnhart, et al. (editors), Chambers Dictionary of Etymology (Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd, 2004 [1998], →ISBN), page 3
  2. ^ Morris, William, editor (1969) The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, New York, NY: American Heritage Publishing Co., Inc., published 1971, →ISBN, page 3
  3. ^ “abnormal” in Christine A. Lindberg, editor, The Oxford College Dictionary, 2nd edition, New York, N.Y.: Spark Publishing, 2002, →ISBN, page 3.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Lesley Brown (editor), The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, 5th edition (Oxford University Press, 2003 [1933], →ISBN), page 6




abnormal (comparative abnormaler, superlative am abnormalsten)

  1. abnormal


Further reading[edit]