Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for July 27, 2020 is:

anomaly • uh-NAH-muh-lee  • noun

1 : something different, abnormal, peculiar, or not easily classified : something anomalous

2 : deviation from the common rule : irregularity

3 : the angular distance of a planet from its perihelion as seen from the sun


“Thermal Scanning uses intelligent thermal technology and checks the temperature of everyone entering the premises and triggers necessary alarms in case of an anomaly in the temperature.” — Business World, 12 June 2020

“[Rich] Wingo is also part of a statistical anomaly of sorts: He scored one point in his NFL career. He is one of four Packers to have scored a single point….” — Jim Owczarski, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 15 June 2020

Did you know?

You might be familiar with the Greek word homos, which means “same.” It is from this word that we get words like homonym, homogeneous, and homophone, all of which have to do with sameness or similarity. What does this have to do with anomaly? Although it’s not obvious, homos is a part of the etymology of anomaly, too. Anomaly is a descendant of the Greek word anōmalos, which means “uneven” or “irregular.” Anōmalos comes from the prefix a- (meaning “not”) and the word homalos (meaning “even”)—and homalos comes from homos.

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