AskDefine | Define anomaly

Dictionary Definition



1 deviation from the normal or common order or form or rule [syn: anomalousness]
2 a person who is unusual [syn: unusual person]
3 (astronomy) position of a planet as defined by its angular distance from its perihelion (as observed from the sun)

User Contributed Dictionary



  • /əˈnɒm.ə.li/
  • 1=/@"nQm=@=li/


From a-, "without", + -noma-, root from norma.


  1. An irregularity or misproportion.
  2. Something that is strange or unusual.
  3. In the context of "NASAspeak": Any event, big or small, out of the ordinary, like a shuttle explosion or a broken instrument.


  • 1956 — Arthur C. Clarke, The City and the Stars, p 43
    This ardent exploration, absorbing all his energy and interest, made him forget for the moment the mystery of his heritage and the anomaly that cut him off from all his fellows.


an irregularity or inconsistency
  • Croatian: anomalija
  • Dutch: anomalie, onregelmatigheid
  • Finnish: säännöttömyys, epäsäännöllisyys, poikkeus
  • French: anomalie
  • German: Anomalie
  • Italian: anomalia
  • Polish: anomalia , nieprawidłowość
  • Swedish: anomali, avvikelse
something that is strange or unusual
any event, big or small, out of the ordinary
Translations to be checked

Extensive Definition

An anomaly (plural anomalies) is an irregularity, a misproportion, or something that is strange or unusual. In particular, as used in the sciences, it means deviation from the common rule, i.e. in the experimental sciences it means difference from the norm or average of a given quantity.
In particular anomaly refers, as used in the following contexts, to:


  • Eccentric anomaly, intermediate value used to compute the position of a celestial object as a function of time
  • Flyby anomaly, unexpected energy increase during Earth flybys of satellites
  • Mean anomaly, measure of time in the study of orbital dynamics
  • Pioneer anomaly, observed deviation of the trajectories of various unmanned spacecraft
  • South Atlantic Anomaly, region where Earth's inner van Allen radiation belt makes its closest approach to the planet's surface
  • True anomaly, angle between the direction of periapsis and the current position of an object on its orbit



  • Congenital vertebral anomaly, collection of malformations of the spine in animals and infants
  • Collie eye anomaly, congenital, inherited, bilateral eye disease of dogs involving the retina, choroid, and sclera
  • Coronary artery anomaly, congenital abnormality in the coronary anatomy of the heart
  • Ebstein's anomaly, congenital heart defect in which the opening of the tricuspid valve is displaced towards the right ventricle of the heart
  • Uhl anomaly, very rare congenital heart disease with a partial or total loss of the myocardial muscle in the right ventricle

Quantum physics

Science fiction



  • Anomaly (Forteana), anomaly associated with Charles Fort's ideas
  • Ararat anomaly, object on Mount Ararat claimed to be Noah's Ark
  • Konishi anomaly, violation of the conservation of the Noether current associated with certain transformations
  • Market anomaly, price distortion on a financial market
  • Anomaly in software, anything that differs from expectations, whether the expectations resulted from documentation, experiences or otherwise

See also

anomaly in Czech: Anomálie
anomaly in Danish: Anomaly
anomaly in Spanish: Anomalía
anomaly in French: Anomalie
anomaly in Indonesian: Anomali
anomaly in Polish: Anomalia
anomaly in Russian: Аномалия
anomaly in Slovak: Anomália
anomaly in Slovenian: Anomalija
anomaly in Finnish: Anomalia

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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