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aberrant Line breaks: ab|er¦rant
Pronunciation: /əˈbɛr(ə)nt/

Definition of aberrant in English:


1Departing from an accepted standard: this somewhat aberrant behaviour requires an explanation
More example sentences
  • Indeed, it was aberrant of him to accept the job and downright silly of the government to appoint him.
  • If you're successful, you've doomed your family to a somewhat aberrant, abnormal existence, but it's public service.
  • This was not an aberrant, deviant test thrust on the wife by an unusually suspicious husband.
1.1chiefly Biology Diverging from the normal type: aberrant chromosomes
More example sentences
  • We have noticed that multiple clones carried an aberrant chromosome III that was indistinguishable by size.
  • Removal of this aberrant chromosome from further calculations makes no change to the inferences drawn.
  • Cells containing any of these types of chromosomal alterations were considered aberrant cells.


Pronunciation: /əˈbɛrəns/
Example sentences
  • It would be a mistake to dismiss the Satanic panic as a freakish aberrance, however.
  • Is it assumed that the south's decision to break away is a mere temporary aberrance?
  • He explored a few career choices, including one as a rodeo cowboy, a notable aberrance considering he was raised in Brooklyn.
Example sentences
  • This was an aberrancy that was stopped almost five months ago.
  • Three years is too short a time to address that deep-seated aberrancy.
  • An aberrancy in the pharynx cannot yet be ruled out.
Example sentences
  • A few aberrantly high months can make a sizeable contribution to the total number of offences in a year.
  • Their luminescent lycra outfits in outlandish combinations of primary colours are aberrantly bright.
  • ‘It is quite clear that he behaved aberrantly in this moment,’ his barrister told the court after the verdicts.


Mid 16th century: from Latin aberrant- 'wandering away', from the verb aberrare, from ab- 'away, from' + errare 'to stray'.

  • err from Middle English:

    Like error (Middle English) and erratic (Late Middle English), err comes to us from Latin errare, which meant ‘to stray, wander’ but could also mean ‘to make a mistake’. The idea of straying or going off the correct course is still found in erratic, and also in the old term knight errant (Middle English), so called because they wandered far and wide in search of adventure. Arrant is a Middle English variant of errant, and aberrant (mid 16th century) is literally a ‘wandering away’ from the right path. The proverb to err is human, to forgive, divine is so old that it is found in Latin (humanum est errare, ‘it is human to err’), and also in the 14th-century work of Geoffrey Chaucer: ‘The proverb says that to sin is human, but to carry on sinning is the devil's work.’ The precise wording that we are familiar with comes from An Essay on Criticism (1711) by the poet Alexander Pope.

Words that rhyme with aberrant

deterrent, errant, inherent, knight-errant
Definition of aberrant in:
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