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[uh-nom-uh-lee] /əˈnɒm ə li/
noun, plural anomalies.
a deviation from the common rule, type, arrangement, or form.
an anomalous person or thing; one that is abnormal or does not fit in:
With his quiet nature, he was an anomaly in his exuberant family.
an odd, peculiar, or strange condition, situation, quality, etc.
an incongruity or inconsistency.
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.
Meteorology. the amount of deviation of a meteorological quantity from the accepted normal value of that quantity.
Grammar. irregularity.
Origin of anomaly
1565-75; < Latin anōmalia < Greek anōmalía, equivalent to anṓmal(os) anomalous + -ia -ia Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for anomalies
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • For anomalies and uncharacteristic episodes in Napoleon's career we must go to books; the playhouse is not the place for them.

    Play-Making William Archer
  • How strange and how unceasing are the anomalies of Irish life!

  • anomalies of a purely pathological character are still more common.

    Criminal Man Gina Lombroso-Ferrero
  • After the incisors, the premolars show the greatest number of anomalies.

    Criminal Man Gina Lombroso-Ferrero
  • Even to-day the masses of the Negroes see all too clearly the anomalies of their position and the moral crookedness of yours.

British Dictionary definitions for anomalies


noun (pl) -lies
something anomalous
deviation from the normal or usual order, type, etc; irregularity
  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
  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 anomalies



1570s, from Latin anomalia, from Greek anomalia "inequality," noun of quality from anomalos "uneven, irregular," from an-, privative prefix, "not" (see an- (1)) + homalos "even," from homos "same" (see same).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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anomalies in Medicine

anomaly a·nom·a·ly (ə-nŏm'ə-lē)
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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