9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[nawrm] /nɔrm/
a standard, model, or pattern.
general level or average:
Two cars per family is the norm in most suburban communities.
  1. a designated standard of average performance of people of a given age, background, etc.
  2. a standard based on the past average performance of a given individual.
  1. a real-valued, nonnegative function whose domain is a vector space, with properties such that the function of a vector is zero only when the vector is zero, the function of a scalar times a vector is equal to the absolute value of the scalar times the function of the vector, and the function of the sum of two vectors is less than or equal to the sum of the functional values of each vector. The norm of a real number is its absolute value.
  2. the greatest difference between two successive points of a given partition.
Origin of norm
1815-25; < Latin norma carpenter's square, rule, pattern
Related forms
normless, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for norms
  • While many industry norms are questionable at best, agents provide necessary and important services.
  • However, the emphasis is on the social and locals follow a set of drinking norms.
  • Constructing understanding of social norms and peer interaction is a vital process developed throughout adolescence.
  • But adhering to strict cultural norms can have serious consequences.
  • Similarly, for those who are not familiar with parliamentary procedure, its norms can be frustrating.
  • They will happily share information with others as long as certain social norms are met.
  • We'll examine three countries where cultural norms and public policy help make healthy living a way of life.
  • Religious norms and traditions are a perfect example of this type of behavior.
  • Commerce will swallow museums if educators try to copy the norms of business for immediate financial reward.
  • But it brings us all together as a community by reinforcing norms and policing the boundaries of propriety.
British Dictionary definitions for norms


an average level of achievement or performance, as of a group or person
a standard of achievement or behaviour that is required, desired, or designated as normal
(sociol) an established standard of behaviour shared by members of a social group to which each member is expected to conform
  1. the length of a vector expressed as the square root of the sum of the square of its components
  2. another name for mode (sense 6)
(geology) the theoretical standard mineral composition of an igneous rock
Word Origin
C19: from Latin norma carpenter's rule, square


a stereotype of the unathletic Australian male
Word Origin
from a cartoon figure in the government-sponsored Life, Be In It campaign
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 norms



"standard, pattern, model," 1821, from French norme, from Latin norma "carpenter's square, rule, pattern," of unknown origin. Klein suggests a borrowing (via Etruscan) of Greek gnomon "carpenter's square." The Latin form of the word, norma, was used in English in the sense of "carpenter's square" from 1670s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Related Abbreviations for norms


  1. standard
  2. model
  3. pattern
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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