Definition of aberration in English:



  • 1A departure from what is normal, usual, or expected, typically an unwelcome one.

    ‘they described the outbreak of violence in the area as an aberration’
    ‘I see these activities as some kind of mental aberration’
    • ‘Indeed it may well be that far from an aberration or even sinful distortion, the normal and proper condition of society, and even of the Church, is one of dispute and conflict.’
    • ‘Any aberrations and highhandedness by security forces, must not, of course, go unpunished.’
    • ‘However, if the most recent 50 years in the history of war have truly been dictated by ideological instead of resource motivations, the period would represent a unique aberration.’
    • ‘According to the revisionists, mechanical television was an aberration which is not to be taken seriously.’
    • ‘The periods of activist government-at the turn of the twentieth century, in the 1930s, and in the 1960s and early 1970s-should be seen as aberrations.’
    • ‘His experience may be transformed from an unfortunate aberration into official company policy.’
    • ‘That was an aberration, one of those ironic blips that sport throws up from time to time.’
    • ‘He was immediately followed to the microphone by a young woman who denounced him in strident terms; those aberrations were not Marxist-Leninist states, she cried, they were Stalinist!’
    • ‘Slight eccentricities are curtailed with gentle mocking, and social aberrations are laughed off the set.’
    • ‘Mee added, ‘Although I do not know who is responsible for these incidents I hope that they were aberrations and shall not be seen again.’’
    • ‘In fact, the years between 1660 and 1685 were something of an aberration, a brief period of calm in an otherwise choppy sea.’
    • ‘We just keep our eyes open to notice aberrations and changes, and believe me, there are plenty of them.’
    • ‘The market will automatically correct any aberrations.’
    • ‘This wasn't an aberration - last year was the aberration.’
    • ‘If it dies it is because of our own errors, betrayals and aberrations.’
    • ‘The realtor said the difference between the two areas was probably just an aberration.’
    • ‘Having grown up during the heady days of the late 1990s, they think the current period is an aberration.’
    • ‘These aberrations are mainly caused by the proposed adoption of the 45% base rate approach.’
    • ‘What went on over that short period of time was an aberration.’
    • ‘Now, as foreign minister, he wants to correct the aberrations.’
    • ‘Despite aberrations, we are still a by and large secular state.’
    anomaly, deviation, divergence, abnormality, irregularity, variation, digression, freak, rogue, rarity, quirk, oddity, curiosity, mistake
    abnormality, irregularity, eccentricity, deviation, transgression, straying, lapse, aberrancy
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    1. 1.1Biology A characteristic that deviates from the normal type.
      ‘colour aberrations’
      • ‘No consistent chromosome aberrations have been identified in basophilic leukemia.’
      • ‘These effects include the induction of chromosomal aberrations and sister chromatid exchange.’
      • ‘The number of cells with chromosomal aberrations among 100 well-spread metaphases was recorded.’
      • ‘Chromosome aberrations were scored on 50 metaphase cells per clone.’
      • ‘Aggressive and poorly responsive tumors are often characterized by multiple molecular cytogenetic aberrations.’
      • ‘These tests score either chromosomal structural aberrations at metaphase or micronuclei at interphase.’
      • ‘Bone marrow cells exhibited chromosome aberrations, aneuploidy, and changes in the mitotic index.’
      • ‘Their presence in cells is a reflection of structural and/or numerical chromosomal aberrations arising during mitosis.’
      • ‘Cells were classified with regard to the presence of abnormal metaphases and aberrations of any of the stages of mitosis.’
      • ‘No chromosome aberrations were found in human spermatozoa in vitro exposed to several chemicals, including dioxin.’
      • ‘Chromosomal abnormalities included gonosomal aberrations in 5 cases.’
      disorder, defect, disease, irregularity, instability, derangement, vagary
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    2. 1.2Optics The failure of rays to converge at one focus because of a defect in a lens or mirror.
      • ‘The slight asymmetry in both the radial and image axis direction indicates small aberrations in the microscope lens.’
      • ‘The focusing mirror preferably has an elliptical shape to reduce off-axis aberrations in the focused beam.’
      • ‘We can also improve CD uniformity by reducing optical aberrations in the projection lens.’
      • ‘Typical aberrations that can impact imaging performance include astigmatism, chromatic aberration, and spherical aberration.’
      • ‘Corrective lenses, then, are prescribed to correct for aberrations, to adjust the focal point onto the retina or to compensate for other abnormalities.’
      • ‘To eliminate the residual aberration in the spherical lens, we need to increase the refractive index of the glass.’
      • ‘Wavefront technology now gives us the ability to map the higher optical aberrations of the eye accurately.’
      • ‘Petzval is best remembered for his work on optical lenses and lens aberration done in the early 1840's.’
      • ‘For diffraction-limited performance, we expect wavefront aberrations of better than 0.25 at all points in the image.’
      • ‘The design of the complete lens system is focused on controlling aberrations in the optical image.’
      • ‘He understood mathematically why a spherical mirror produces aberration.’
      • ‘With this data they can program the adaptive optic system to deform the mirror to correct aberrations in the high-energy beam.’
      • ‘The problems with the microlens array design are low light throughput, non-uniform intensity foci, and lens aberrations.’
    3. 1.3Astronomy The apparent displacement of a celestial object from its true position, caused by the relative motion of the observer and the object.
      • ‘This was still an astronomical method, but Bradley used observations of the aberration of light from stars.’


Late 16th century: from Latin aberratio(n-), from aberrare ‘to stray’ (see aberrant).