Definition of norm in English:

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Pronunciation: /nɔːm/


1 (the norm) Something that is usual, typical, or standard: strikes were the norm
More example sentences
  • Upper class or not, women must not assume that just because Caesarians have become the norm, it's normal.
  • Testing has long impeded all groups of minority students, and is a strong barrier to the success of minorities in schools where standardized testing is the norm.
  • We challenge you to join us in creating healthy work environments by making these standards the norm.
standard, usual, normal, typical, average, the rule, predictable, unexceptional, par for the course, what one would expect, expected, (only) to be expected
1.1 (usually norms) A standard or pattern, especially of social behaviour, that is typical or expected: the norms of good behaviour in the Civil Service
More example sentences
  • It is easy to assume that these new roles lead to strains on the elderly in that: they must adapt to changes in social norms and acceptable behavioral standards.
  • The distortion and utter disregard for social norms, anti-social behaviour and altered family values, are some of the manifestations of this phenomenon.
  • You may not conform to social norms and patterns.
convention, standard, criterion, measure, gauge, yardstick, benchmark, point of reference, touchstone, barometer, litmus test, basis, scale, rule, formula, pattern, guide, guideline, model, exemplar, type
1.2A required standard; a level to be complied with or reached: the 7 per cent pay norm had been breached again
More example sentences
  • Now more than ever, the level of detail on every garment has become a requirement, and may soon reach the norm.
  • Action will be taken against those who fail to comply with the norm.
  • Many teachers themselves believe that 70 hours a week is the norm, and is required of them.
2 Mathematics The product of a complex number and its conjugate, equal to the sum of the squares of its real and imaginary components, or the positive square root of this sum.
2.1An analogous quantity used to represent the magnitude of a vector.
Example sentences
  • The random vector is drawn from a Gaussian distribution whose standard deviation is 20% of the norm of the force vector.


[with object]
Adjust (something) to conform to a norm.
Example sentences
  • Recommendations for early identification testing often include the use of commercially available, nationally normed measures of reading and phonological awareness.
  • Second, teachers have experience with many children, so their responses are implicitly normed.
  • Though the test was normed for 7 year old students, these young students seemed to have trouble with the gradations of the scoring system.


Early 19th century: from Latin norma 'precept, rule, carpenter's square'.

  • enormous from mid 16th century:

    Enormous is from Latin enormis, from e- ‘out of’ and norma ‘pattern, standard’ (the root of norm (early 19th century), and normal (mid 17th century)). In early use it meant ‘abnormal, unusual, extraordinary’ and also ‘abnormally bad, monstrous, shocking’ as well as ‘huge’. This bad sense is still found in enormity (Late Middle English), which strictly means ‘a grave crime or sin’ or ‘the extreme seriousness of something bad’, although today people increasingly use it to mean simply ‘great size or scale’.

Words that rhyme with norm

conform, corm, dorm, form, forme, haulm, lukewarm, Maugham, misinform, outperform, perform, shawm, storm, swarm, transform, underperform, warm

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: norm

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