not normal, average, typical, or usual; deviating from a standard: abnormal powers of concentration; an abnormal amount of snow; abnormal behavior.
extremely or excessively large: abnormal profit.

Nearby words

  1. abnegation,
  2. abner,
  3. abnerval,
  4. abneural,
  5. abney level,
  6. abnormal occlusion,
  7. abnormal psychology,
  8. abnormalcy,
  9. abnormality,
  10. abnormalize

Origin of abnormal

1850–55; ab- + normal; replacing anormal < Medieval Latin anōrmālus, variant of anōmālus anomalous influenced by Latin norma norm

Related formsab·nor·mal·ly, adverbab·nor·mal·ness, nounsu·per·ab·nor·mal, adjectivesu·per·ab·nor·mal·ly, adverb

Can be confusedabnormal subnormal

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for abnormal

British Dictionary definitions for abnormal



not normal; deviating from the usual or typical; extraordinary
informal odd in behaviour or appearance; strange
Derived Formsabnormally, adverb

Word Origin for abnormal

C19: ab- 1 + normal, replacing earlier anormal from Medieval Latin anormalus, a blend of Late Latin anōmalus anomalous + Latin abnormis departing from a rule

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

Word Origin and History for abnormal



1835, displaced older abnormous (1742) and rival anormal (1835) under influence of Latin abnormis "deviating from a rule," from ab- "off, away from" (see ab-) + norma "rule" (see norm). The older forms were via Old French anormal (13c.), from Medieval Latin anormalos, from Greek anomalos, from an- "not" + homalos, from homos "same." The Greek word was altered in Latin by association with norma. Related: Abnormally.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper