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anomaly

[uh-nom-uh-lee] /əˈnɒm ə li/
noun, plural anomalies.
1.
a deviation from the common rule, type, arrangement, or form.
2.
someone or something that is abnormal or incongruous, or does not fit in; an anomalous person or thing:
With his quiet nature, he was an anomaly in his exuberant family.
3.
an odd, peculiar, or strange condition, situation, quality, etc.
4.
an incongruity or inconsistency.
5.
Astronomy. a quantity measured in degrees, defining the position of an orbiting body with respect to the point at which it is nearest to or farthest from its primary.
6.
Meteorology. the amount of deviation of a meteorological quantity from the accepted normal value of that quantity.
7.
Grammar, irregularity.
Origin
1565-1575
1565-75; < Latin anōmalia < Greek anōmalía, equivalent to anṓmal(os) anomalous + -ia -ia
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for anomaly
  • Any data points outside of normal operations appeared as an anomaly.
  • If it happens once, it's an anomaly.
  • We take this anomaly for granted and ignore the real significance of it.
  • The increases we have now are not a natural anomaly.
  • You keep listing erroneous claims, quotes deliberately taken out of context and exercise in anomaly hunting.
  • One could say that you have experienced a statistical anomaly.
  • They film this astronomical anomaly as it runs through a variety of tricks, then disappears.
  • The team will concentrate investigating the reasons for this anomaly once the science data has been analysed.
  • As the sun set, we drove into the hills until we came to the large hotel — an anomaly on the rocky, deserted shoreline.
  • Extreme behavior exists, but it's the anomaly.
British Dictionary definitions for anomaly

anomaly

/əˈnɒməlɪ/
noun (pl) -lies
1.
something anomalous
2.
deviation from the normal or usual order, type, etc; irregularity
3.
(astronomy)
  1. Also called true anomaly. the angle between a planet, the sun, and the previous perihelion of the planet
  2. Also called eccentric anomaly. the angle between the periapsis of a particular point on a circle round the orbit as seen from the centre of the orbit. This point is obtained by producing a perpendicular to the major axis of the ellipse through the orbiting body until it reaches the circumference of the circle
  3. Also called mean anomaly. the angle between the periapsis of an orbit and the position of an imaginary body orbiting at a constant angular speed and in the same period as the real orbiting body
4.
(geology)
  1. Also called gravity anomaly. a deviation from the normal value of gravity at the earth's surface, caused by density differences at depth, for example those caused by a buried mineral body
  2. Also called magnetic anomaly. a magnetic field, for example one produced by a buried mineral body, that deviates from an expected or standard value, usually that of the earth's magnetic field
Derived Forms
anomalistic, adjective
anomalistically, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for anomaly
anomaly
1570s, from L. anomalia, from Gk. anomalia, noun of quality from anomalos "uneven, irregular," from an-, privative prefix, "not" + homalos "even," from homos "same" (see same).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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anomaly in Medicine

anomaly a·nom·a·ly (ə-nŏm'ə-lē)
n.
A deviation from the average or norm.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Article for anomaly

in astronomy, originally the nonuniform (anomalous) apparent motions of the planets. In present usage, three kinds of anomaly are distinguished to describe the position in the orbit of a planet, a satellite, or a star (in a binary system) around the centre of mass. The following text relates to the orbit of a planet. True anomaly is the angle, V, between lines drawn from the centre of mass (near the centre of the Sun, S), to a planet P, and to the perihelion point B, where the planet comes closest to the Sun. The mean anomaly is the angle between lines drawn from the Sun to the perihelion B and to a point (not shown) moving in the orbit at a uniform rate corresponding to the period of revolution of the planet. The eccentric anomaly is the angle E, between the perihelion B, the centre of the ellipse at C, and the point P', which is located by drawing a perpendicular to AB passing through the planet and intersecting a circle of diameter AB.

Learn more about anomaly with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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