[ ey-tip-i-kuhl ]
/ eɪˈtɪp ɪ kəl /
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not typical; not conforming to the type; irregular; abnormal: atypical behavior; a flower atypical of the species.
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Also a·typ·ic .

Origin of atypical

First recorded in 1880–85; a-6 + typical


a·typ·i·cal·i·ty, nouna·typ·i·cal·ly, adverb

Words nearby atypical

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does atypical mean?

Atypical is used to describe something that does not conform to the norm or that is irregular, such as an atypical behavior or an atypical action.

Something that is atypical differs in a noticeable way from other items of its kind. An atypical flower might be a flower that glows in the dark (if you discover one, let us know!). An atypical horror film could be one in which the monster tries to be friends with everyone rather than kill them.

Example: These fixtures are atypical of our usual products.

Where does atypical come from?

The first records of the term atypical come from around 1880. It combines the prefix a, which means “not,” with the word typical, which describes something that is of a particular type. Atypical literally means “not typical.”

You’ll likely find atypical in formal contexts. For example, in psychiatry, atypical depression means that the depression can lift temporarily in reaction to a positive event. Atypical depression itself, however, is pretty common. If your cat suddenly doesn’t want to eat or be petted, your vet might call that atypical behavior and would look for a cause.

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What are some other forms related to atypical?

  • atypic (adjective)
  • atypicality (noun)
  • atypically (adverb)

What are some synonyms for atypical?

What are some words that share a root or word element with atypical

What are some words that often get used in discussing atypical?

How is atypical used in real life?

Atypical is normally used in an analysis of something that doesn’t represent the norm.



Try using atypical!

Which of the following is NOT a synonym for atypical?

A. nonconforming
B. abnormal
C. odd
D. common

How to use atypical in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for atypical

/ (eɪˈtɪpɪkəl) /

not typical; deviating from or not conforming to type

Derived forms of atypical

atypically, 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