- something that lies outside the main body or group that it is a part of, as a cow far from the rest of the herd, or a distant island belonging to a cluster of islands: The small factory was an outlier, and unproductive, so the corporation sold it off to private owners who were able to make it profitable.
- someone who stands apart from others of his or her group, as by differing behavior, beliefs, or religious practices: scientists who are outliers in their views on climate change.
- an observation that is well outside of the expected range of values in a study or experiment, and which is often discarded from the data set: Experience with a variety of data-reduction problems has led to several strategies for dealing with outliers in data sets.
- a person whose abilities, achievements, etc., lie outside the range of statistical probability.
- Geology. a part of a formation left detached through the removal of surrounding parts by erosion.Compare inlier.
- Obsolete. a person residing outside the place of his or her business, duty, etc.
Origin of outlier
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for outliers
And no issue should be defined by its outliers because it paints a false picture.Bill de Blasio’s Tea Party Problem
December 30, 2014
Surveys were assessed for outliers and inconsistencies and messy data was reconciled by contacting individual schools.The Daily Beast's Top High Schools 2014: Methodology
August 27, 2014
Celebrity participants like Zachary Levi—who devotes substantial time to discussing ALS—are outliers.#IceBucketChallenge Wisdom From 'Jackass' Steve-O
August 21, 2014
Americans are the outliers in their skepticism for wines that come in boxes.Taking Boxed Wine Seriously: It’s Not Just for Hobos and Teenagers Anymore
March 15, 2014
Insiders and outliers and nearly everyone else is abuzz: Can Fallon handle the job?Can Jimmy Fallon Be Himself on ‘The Tonight Show’?
February 17, 2014
I strongly recommend your purchasing these outliers in large quantities.Mammon and Co.
E. F. Benson
There are outliers of the stock as far south as the southern parts of Oregon.Opuscula
Robert Gordon Latham
Just opposite, there are buttes, outliers of cliffs to the left.Canyons of the Colorado
J. W. Powell
Westward are the outliers of the Vilcapampa range; on the east are the smaller ranges that front the tropical lowlands.The Andes of Southern Peru
But the new province, like its new mother—or step-mother—country, had also its outliers of territory and people.
- an outcrop of rocks that is entirely surrounded by older rocks
- a person, thing, or part situated away from a main or related body
- a person who lives away from his place of work, duty, etc
- statistics a point in a sample widely separated from the main cluster of points in the sampleSee scatter diagram
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 outliers
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper