• synonyms


[suhb-nawr-muh l]
See more synonyms for subnormal on Thesaurus.com
  1. below the normal; less than or inferior to the normal: a subnormal amount of rain.
  2. being less than average in any psychological trait, as intelligence, personality, or emotional adjustment.
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  1. a subnormal person.
  2. Geometry. that part of the x-axis of a curve cut off between the ordinate and a normal.
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Origin of subnormal

First recorded in 1700–10; sub- + normal
Related formssub·nor·mal·i·ty, noun
Can be confusedabnormal subnormal
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for subnormal

Historical Examples

  • There is also much loose talk about the subnormal brutes in our penitentiaries.

    Hidden from the Prudent

    Paul Jones

  • (a) In acute infectious diseases the number is subnormal or normal.

  • But DeeDee was too subnormal to react even to a Disraeli-matrix.

    The Ego Machine

    Henry Kuttner

  • Furthermore, the insane and subnormal are influenced by punishment and fear.

  • Page 9: "Subnormal" sic; Byond amended to Beyond; opening quote marks added to "supernormal"

British Dictionary definitions for subnormal


  1. less than the normal
  2. having a low intelligence, esp having an IQ of less than 70
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  1. a subnormal person
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Derived Formssubnormality (ˌsʌbnɔːˈmælɪtɪ), nounsubnormally, 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 subnormal


1890, from sub- + normal. The noun is from 1710 in geometry; 1916, of persons.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper