Definition of aberration in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌabəˈrāSH(ə)n/


1A departure from what is normal, usual, or expected, typically one that is unwelcome: they described the outbreak of violence in the area as an aberration
More example sentences
  • According to the revisionists, mechanical television was an aberration which is not to be taken seriously.
  • His experience may be transformed from an unfortunate aberration into official company policy.
  • Having grown up during the heady days of the late 1990s, they think the current period is an aberration.
1.1 Biology A characteristic that deviates from the normal type: color aberrations
More example sentences
  • These tests score either chromosomal structural aberrations at metaphase or micronuclei at interphase.
  • The number of cells with chromosomal aberrations among 100 well-spread metaphases was recorded.
  • Cells were classified with regard to the presence of abnormal metaphases and aberrations of any of the stages of mitosis.
1.2 Optics The failure of rays to converge at one focus because of limitations or defects in a lens or mirror.
Example sentences
  • The problems with the microlens array design are low light throughput, non-uniform intensity foci, and lens aberrations.
  • The slight asymmetry in both the radial and image axis direction indicates small aberrations in the microscope lens.
  • The design of the complete lens system is focused on controlling aberrations in the optical image.
1.3 Astronomy The apparent displacement of a celestial object from its true position, caused by the relative motion of the observer and the object.
Example sentences
  • This was still an astronomical method, but Bradley used observations of the aberration of light from stars.



Pronunciation: /-SHənl/
Example sentences
  • Any process of organization is necessarily aberrational within the general economy.
  • This type of database can tell us about aberrational outbreaks of food poisoning.
  • This is an aberrational number of deaths in such a short period.


Late 16th century: from Latin aberratio(n-), from aberrare 'to stray' (see aberrant).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ab·er·ra·tion

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