abnormal


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Acronyms, Wikipedia.
Related to abnormal: Abnormal returns

abnormal

deviating from the usual pattern of behaviour (or social structure), especially where this is viewed as maladjustment or DYSFUNCTION.

Any sociological use of the term faces the problem of determining ‘normality’. For example, DURKHEIM made the assumption that the average social form at a particular level of social development was also the functional form. However, whilst conceptions of functional normality and abnormality may be relatively clear in relation to biological organisms, the utility of these concepts in sociology has been widely questioned. With the exception of Durkheim and functionalist sociology, sociologists have usually conceptualized individual and social variability and deviation from established patterns of behaviour in other terms than ‘normality’ and ‘abnormality’. See also DISABILITY.

References in classic literature ?
The unusual salary, the curious conditions, the light duties, all pointed to something abnormal, though whether a fad or a plot, or whether the man were a philanthropist or a villain, it was quite beyond my powers to determine.
My psychology may be a little abnormal," replied Horne Fisher, in a rather hazy manner.
There was nothing markedly abnormal in any of these conditions, which harmonized with my former experiences.
With one exception there was nothing definably abnormal about him.
They ceased to invite her; and they intimated that they desired to express to observant Europeans the great truth that, though Miss Daisy Miller was a young American lady, her behavior was not representative-- was regarded by her compatriots as abnormal.
One gets inured to noise at sea, but to this day it passes me how even I could have slept an instant in the abnormal din which I now heard raging above my head.
For these abnormal insights of the adepts ought to be normal, and things of course.
To the others men and women were only cases, good if they were complicated, tiresome if obvious; they heard murmurs and were astonished at abnormal livers; an unexpected sound in the lungs gave them something to talk about.
This reasoning, however, seemed to end in a paradox, and lead to the further consideration:--"What matter though it be only disease, an abnormal tension of the brain, if when I recall and analyze the moment, it seems to have been one of harmony and beauty in the highest degree--an instant of deepest sensation, overflowing with unbounded joy and rapture, ecstatic devotion, and completest life?
Once or twice he saw guns and soldiers, and was reminded of the stir of military preparations he had witnessed on the Bank Holiday in England; but there was nothing to tell him that these military preparations were abnormal or to explain an occasional faint irregular firing Of guns that drifted up to him.
He had grown so stout this year that he would have been abnormal had he not been so tall, so broad of limb, and so strong that he carried his bulk with evident ease.
My brain, on the contrary," said Hirst, "is in a condition of abnormal activity.