See more synonyms for anomaly on
noun, plural a·nom·a·lies.
  1. a deviation from the common rule, type, arrangement, or form.
  2. 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.
  3. an odd, peculiar, or strange condition, situation, quality, etc.
  4. an incongruity or inconsistency.
  5. 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.
  6. Meteorology. the amount of deviation of a meteorological quantity from the accepted normal value of that quantity.
  7. Grammar. irregularity.

Origin of anomaly

1565–75; < Latin anōmalia < Greek anōmalía, equivalent to anṓmal(os) anomalous + -ia -ia Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for anomalies


noun plural -lies
  1. something anomalous
  2. deviation from the normal or usual order, type, etc; irregularity
  3. astronomy
    1. Also called: true anomalythe angle between a planet, the sun, and the previous perihelion of the planet
    2. Also called: eccentric anomalythe 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 anomalythe 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
  4. geology
    1. Also called: gravity anomalya 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 anomalya 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 Formsanomalistic, adjectiveanomalistically, 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

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

anomalies in Medicine


  1. 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.