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[uh-ber-uh nt, ab-er-] /əˈbɛr ənt, ˈæb ər-/
departing from the right, normal, or usual course.
deviating from the ordinary, usual, or normal type; exceptional; abnormal.
an aberrant person, thing, group, etc.
Origin of aberrant
1820-30; < Latin aberrant- (stem of aberrāns, present participle of aberrāre to deviate). See ab-, errant
Related forms
aberrance, aberrancy, noun
aberrantly, adverb
Can be confused
aberrant, abhorrent.
1. wandering. 2. divergent, unusual. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for aberrant
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • With an inhuman disregard of caste and custom, the aberrant shadows of the passers-by met and mingled one into another.

  • It means that only the parent, which is presumably not immortal, is aberrant.

  • It appears to "offer a number of transitional characters between the more typical Procyonidae and the aberrant Cercoleptes."

  • The aberrant forms then cease to be, and the mores become uniform.

    Folkways William Graham Sumner
  • If there has been inheritance here, marked and aberrant variation is also observed.

    Prehistoric Man W. L. H. Duckworth
  • Besides the Lemurs the group includes the aberrant Tarsius and Chiromys.

    The Vertebrate Skeleton Sidney H. Reynolds
  • We have elsewhere shewn that all aberrant forms unite into a circle of their own.

  • There are also some aberrant types which possess complex or multitubercular teeth.

    Degeneracy Eugene S. Talbot
  • Upon the whole, the Zuni seems to be most aberrant of the group—saving the Moqui, which has decided Paduca affinities.

    Opuscula Robert Gordon Latham
British Dictionary definitions for aberrant


deviating from the normal or usual type, as certain animals from the group in which they are classified
behaving in an abnormal or untypical way
deviating from truth, morality, etc
Derived Forms
aberrance, aberrancy, noun
Word Origin
rare before c19: from the present participle of Latin aberrāre to wander away
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 aberrant

1798, originally in natural history, from Latin aberrantem (nominative aberrans), present participle of aberrare "to wander away, go astray" (see aberration).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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aberrant in Medicine

aberrant ab·er·rant (ā-běr'ənt, āb'ər-)

  1. Deviating from the usual course, as certain ducts, vessels, or nerves.

  2. Deviating from the normal; untrue to type.

  3. Out of place; ectopic.

ab·er'ran·cy n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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