View synonyms for aberration


[ ab-uh-rey-shuhn ]


  1. the act of departing from the right, normal, or usual course:

    Leaving that spelling error in her final report was an aberration from her usual meticulous work, and it surprised her colleagues.

    Synonyms: divergence, deviation, wandering

  2. an instance of deviating from the ordinary, usual, or normal type:

    Certain disorders may be caused by a chromosomal aberration, such as the absence or duplication of a particular chromosome.

    Last season was an aberration in the league, with a sharp increase in the number of injuries to players.

  3. deviation from truth or from good ethics:

    Disgust may begin as physical revulsion that is eventually triggered by anything a person sees as moral aberration.

  4. a departure from sound thinking; lapse in judgment:

    Through some strange aberration or oversight, the author rejected my own much more subtle and effective amendments.

    Synonyms: hallucination, delusion, illusion, eccentricity, abnormality

  5. Astronomy. apparent displacement of a heavenly body, owing to the motion of the earth in its orbit.
  6. Optics. any disturbance of the rays of a pencil of light such that they can no longer be brought to a sharp focus or form a clear image.
  7. Photography. a defect in a camera lens or lens system, due to flaws in design, material, or construction, that can distort the image.


/ ˌæbəˈreɪʃən /


  1. deviation from what is normal, expected, or usual
  2. departure from truth, morality, etc
  3. a lapse in control of one's mental faculties
  4. optics a defect in a lens or mirror that causes the formation of either a distorted image or one with coloured fringes See also spherical aberration chromatic aberration
  5. astronomy the apparent displacement of a celestial body due to the finite speed of light and the motion of the observer with the earth
“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


/ ăb′ə-rāshən /

  1. A deviation in the normal structure or number of chromosomes in an organism.
  2. A defect in a lens or mirror that prevents light rays from being focused at a single point and results in a distorted or blurred image.
  3. ◆ Aberration that results in distortion of color is called chromatic aberration.
  4. ◆ Aberration that is caused by imperfections in the surface or shape of a spherical mirror or lens is called spherical aberration.
  5. See also astigmatism

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Other Words From

  • ab·er·ra·tion·al adjective
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Word History and Origins

Origin of aberration1

First recorded in 1585–95; from Latin aberrātiōn-, stem of aberrātiō “distraction, diversion, relief (from pain or sorrow),” from aberrāt(us) “diverted, deviated” (past participle of aberrāre “to divert, forget for a time,” also “to wander, deviate”; aberrant ) + -iō -ion
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Example Sentences

They were also an aberration from conventional music industry logic.

From Quartz

January 6th was a culmination of the president’s actions, not an aberration from them.

We will also be investigating any aberrations and issues in the mail-in voting process as we find them, and telling the stories of the people and communities impacted most.

Our current era of seesawing power is the historical aberration, and as political scientist Frances Lee argues in her book Insecure Majorities, it has reshaped Congress and made bipartisan compromise nearly impossible.

From Vox

The city’s death statistics reveal an aberration, ProPublica found.

The Civil War was clearly an aberration in American society and of profound significance.

In fact, the very notion of restraint has become an aberration.

His actions may have been an aberration but his thinking, sadly, is not.

But as the report pointed out time and time again, that dark era of violence in America was not some aberration.

How did this aberration come to pass and why has it persisted until now?

Even a thinking machine must have its moments of aberration.

But this easiness is only possible, in promiscuity, which is possibly a worse ill than aberration.

Nevertheless it would be imprudent wholly to rule out this form of sexual aberration from the causes of variability of species.

The spiritual culture of Greece an aberration of the amazing political impulse towards ἁριστεὑειν.

His instinct, which was stronger than his intelligence, told him that such an aberration was possible.


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