9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[out-lahy-er] /ˈaʊtˌlaɪ ər/
something that lies outside the main body or group that it is a part of, as a cow far from the rest of the herd, or a distant island belonging to a cluster of islands:
The small factory was an outlier, and unproductive, so the corporation sold it off to private owners who were able to make it profitable.
someone who stands apart from others of his or her group, as by differing behavior, beliefs, or religious practices:
scientists who are outliers in their views on climate change.
  1. an observation that is well outside of the expected range of values in a study or experiment, and which is often discarded from the data set:
    Experience with a variety of data-reduction problems has led to several strategies for dealing with outliers in data sets.
  2. a person whose abilities, achievements, etc., lie outside the range of statistical probability.
Geology. a part of a formation left detached through the removal of surrounding parts by erosion.
Compare inlier.
Obsolete. a person residing outside the place of his or her business, duty, etc.
Origin of outlier
1600-10; out- + lier Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for outlier
  • In theory, an outlier is something that is so unlikely that it is thought to be unrepresentative of the rest of the sample.
  • The normal outcome is the province of science, which does not overlap with the miraculous, which it might call an outlier.
  • And that would certainly provide evidence that we're an outlier and therefore there must be more universes.
  • In my experience, when it comes to home media centers, there are two main camps and an outlier.
  • And if you did, you could learn something from the outlier than could use to help everyone else.
  • The cod's recovery is hopeful but it's safest to treat it as an outlier.
  • But no doctor or research study has ever told my father that he couldn't be the outlier.
  • Which therefore makes the behavior a statistical outlier.
  • But the theory of outlier events doesn't actually say that they cannot eventually be predicted.
  • Our theory is that these consolidated recommendations help to reduce the negative impact of outlier predictions.
British Dictionary definitions for outlier


an outcrop of rocks that is entirely surrounded by older rocks
a person, thing, or part situated away from a main or related body
a person who lives away from his place of work, duty, etc
(statistics) a point in a sample widely separated from the main cluster of points in the sample See scatter diagram
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 outlier

c.1600, "stone quarried and removed but left unused," from out + lie (v.2). Transferred meaning "outsider" is recorded from 1680s; "anything detached from its main body" is from 1849; geological sense is from 1833.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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