Words related to norm

abnormal (adj.)
Origin and meaning of abnormal

"not conformed or conforming to rule, deviating from a type or standard, contrary to system or law, irregular, unnatural," 1835, a refashioning of anormal (q.v.) under influence of Latin abnormalis "deviating from a fixed rule, irregular," from ab "off, away from" (see ab-) + norma "rule" (see norm).

The older form was from French anormal (13c.), from Medieval Latin anormalus, an altered (by association with norma) borrowing of Greek anomalos "uneven, irregular," from an- "not" (see an- (1)) + homalos "even," from homos "same" (from PIE root *sem- (1) "one; as one, together with"). Compare anomaly. "Few words show such a series of pseudo-etymological perversions" [Weekley]. Another adjective was abnormous (1742) "irregular, misshapen," from Latin abnormis. Related: Abnormally.

enormous (adj.)

1530s, "abnormal" (usually in a bad sense), from Latin enormis "out of rule, irregular, shapeless; extraordinary, very large," from assimilated form of ex "out of" (see ex-) + norma "rule, norm" (see norm), with English -ous substituted for Latin -is. Meaning "extraordinary in size" is attested from 1540s; original sense of "outrageous" is more clearly preserved in enormity. Earlier was enormyous (mid-15c.) "exceedingly great, monstrous." Related: Enormously; enormousness.


fem. proper name, probably from Latin norma (see norm).

normal (adj.)

c. 1500, "typical, common;" 1640s, in geometry, "standing at a right angle, perpendicular," from Late Latin normalis "in conformity with rule, normal," in classical Latin "made according to a carpenter's square," from norma "rule, pattern," literally "carpenter's square," a word of unknown origin (see norm). Meaning "conforming to common standards or established order or usage, regular, usual" is attested from 1828 but probably is older than the record [Barnhart].

Meaning "heterosexual" is by 1914. As a noun meaning "usual state or condition," from 1890 (in geometry as "a perpendicular" from 1727). Sense of "a normal person or thing" is attested by 1894. Normal school "training college for teachers" (1835) is a translation of French école normale (1794), a creation of the French Republic; the notion is of "serving to set a standard." The U.S. city of Normal, Illinois, was named 1857 for the normal school established there.