There are 2 main definitions of normal in English:

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normal 1

Pronunciation: /ˈnɔːm(ə)l/


1Conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected: it’s quite normal for puppies to bolt their food normal working hours
More example sentences
  • The news was on a repeat schedule at this hour since it was normal for them to repeat the news at night.
  • Under normal circumstances you would expect the latter to have a much lower price tag.
  • The queue of traffic had stopped again after moving a few meters, a pace which seemed about normal for the rush hour in the middle of York on a Wednesday morning.
1.1(Of a person) free from physical or mental disorders: until her accident Louise had been a perfectly normal little girl many previously normal people exhibit psychotic symptoms after a few nights without sleep
More example sentences
  • In some cases, children with dominant single gene disorders are born to normal parents.
  • He's just a normal person that probably has a few mental issues he needs to deal with.
  • Take advantage of this quiet mental time to see how normal people live.
sane, in one's right mind, right in the head, of sound mind, in possession of all one's faculties, able to think/reason clearly, lucid, rational, coherent, balanced, well balanced;
informal all there
2 technical (Of a line, ray, or other linear feature) intersecting a given line or surface at right angles: a single plane of symmetry with a diad axis normal to it
More example sentences
  • Unless the radar signal is normal to some surface (extremely low probability) the radar receives no return.
  • In physics, the critical angle is described with respect to the normal line.
  • The hard perturbations in this study caused the trajectory to move in a direction that was normal to the limit cycle.
3 Medicine (Of a salt solution) containing the same salt concentration as the blood: dilute the stock solution with sterile water or normal saline
More example sentences
  • Therefore, 1L of normal saline should be given per hour to start.
  • An infusion of IV normal saline frequently corrects hypotension and increases cardiac output.
  • The probe was rinsed with sterile normal saline between measurements of each raft.
3.1 Chemistry , dated (Of a solution) containing one gram-equivalent of solute per litre.
4 Geology Denoting a fault or faulting in which a relative downward movement occurred in the strata situated on the upper side of the fault plane.
Example sentences
  • As much as 1.3 km of sediment were eroded on the footwall blocks of normal faults at that time.
  • In addition, large-scale isoclinal folds and normal faults with throws exceeding 10m locally occur.
  • Massive dolomite and dolomitic breccias are separated by a normal fault from the upper part of the sequence.


1 [mass noun] The usual, typical, or expected state or condition: her temperature was above normal the service will be back to normal next week
More example sentences
  • Things have reverted pretty much back to normal, or whatever normal means when Lindsey and I are involved.
  • He was back to normal, well normal for him, but definitely strange to most people.
  • Everything is now back to normal and the game continues every Wednesday night.
1.1 informal A person who is conventional or healthy.
Example sentences
  • As Modes had promised beforehand, the march ended with the clowns piling into three small cars and driving off, ‘leaving the normals confused and frightened.’
  • ‘Ah, but if Mutants are perfectly capable of living with normals,’ she observes, ‘why are they exiled from the rest of us?’
  • Also, let us not forget that the military institution provides us with a means to segregate the less desirable members of society from the rest of us normals.
2 technical A line at right angles to a given line or surface: the view is along the normal to the surface
More example sentences
  • Since normals to a straight line never intersect and tangents coincide with the curve, evolutes, involutes and pedal curves are not too interesting.
  • It deals with normals to conics regarded as maximum and minimum straight lines drawn from particular points to the curve.
  • Since these forces are strongest for orientation of the surface normal perpendicular to the rotation axis, this may cause a slight preference for alignment of the bilayer normals perpendicular to the rotor axis.


the new normal

chiefly North American
A previously unfamiliar or atypical situation that has become standard, usual, or expected: 32% of Americans say spending less is the new normal, according to a recent poll
More example sentences
  • The term 'extreme weather' has become the new normal.
  • Crisis has become the new normal for the nuclear medicine department at the Trois-Rivieres regional hospital, he said.
  • The new normal is going to be a lot of people looking for work for the next couple of years.


Mid 17th century (in the sense 'right-angled'): from Latin normalis, from norma 'carpenter's square' (see norm). Current senses date from the early 19th century.

Words that rhyme with normal

abnormal, conformal, formal, paranormal, subnormal

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: nor¦mal

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There are 2 main definitions of normal in English:

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Normal 2

Pronunciation: /ˈnôrməl/

Entry from US English dictionary

A town in central Illinois, home to Illinois State University (originally a normal, or teachers, school); population 52,056 (est. 2008).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: Nor·mal

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