[ nawr-muh l-see ]
/ ˈnɔr məl si /


the quality or condition of being normal, as the general economic, political, and social conditions of a nation; normality: After months of living in a state of tension, all yearned for a return to normalcy.

Nearby words

  1. normal series,
  2. normal serum,
  3. normal time,
  4. normal values,
  5. normal zeeman effect,
  6. normality,
  7. normalization,
  8. normalize,
  9. normalizer,
  10. normally

Origin of normalcy

First recorded in 1855–60; normal + -cy Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for normalcy

Word Origin and History for normalcy



1857, "mathematical condition of being at right angles," from normal + -cy. Associated since c.1920 with U.S. president Warren G. Harding and derided as an example of his incompetent speaking style. Previously used mostly in the mathematical sense. The word prefered by purists for "a normal situation" is normality (1849).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Culture definitions for normalcy


A word used by President Warren Harding to describe the calm political and social order to which he wished to return the United States after the idealism and commotion of the presidency of Woodrow Wilson.


Normalcy has been used as a general term for the political climate in the United States in the early 1920s.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.