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’
    • ‘Any aberrations and highhandedness by security forces, must not, of course, go unpunished.’
    • ‘Having grown up during the heady days of the late 1990s, they think the current period is an aberration.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Despite aberrations, we are still a by and large secular state.’
    • ‘According to the revisionists, mechanical television was an aberration which is not to be taken seriously.’
    • ‘We just keep our eyes open to notice aberrations and changes, and believe me, there are plenty of them.’
    • ‘These aberrations are mainly caused by the proposed adoption of the 45% base rate approach.’
    • ‘That was an aberration, one of those ironic blips that sport throws up from time to time.’
    • ‘The market will automatically correct any aberrations.’
    • ‘His experience may be transformed from an unfortunate aberration into official company policy.’
    • ‘Now, as foreign minister, he wants to correct the aberrations.’
    • ‘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.’’
    • ‘The realtor said the difference between the two areas was probably just an 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.’
    • ‘Slight eccentricities are curtailed with gentle mocking, and social aberrations are laughed off the set.’
    • ‘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!’
    • ‘This wasn't an aberration - last year was the aberration.’
    • ‘If it dies it is because of our own errors, betrayals and aberrations.’
    • ‘What went on over that short period of time was an aberration.’
    • ‘In fact, the years between 1660 and 1685 were something of an aberration, a brief period of calm in an otherwise choppy sea.’
    • ‘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.’
    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’
      • ‘Chromosome aberrations were scored on 50 metaphase cells per clone.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The number of cells with chromosomal aberrations among 100 well-spread metaphases was recorded.’
      • ‘Aggressive and poorly responsive tumors are often characterized by multiple molecular cytogenetic aberrations.’
      • ‘No chromosome aberrations were found in human spermatozoa in vitro exposed to several chemicals, including dioxin.’
      • ‘Cells were classified with regard to the presence of abnormal metaphases and aberrations of any of the stages of mitosis.’
      • ‘Chromosomal abnormalities included gonosomal aberrations in 5 cases.’
      • ‘These tests score either chromosomal structural aberrations at metaphase or micronuclei at interphase.’
      • ‘No consistent chromosome aberrations have been identified in basophilic leukemia.’
      • ‘These effects include the induction of chromosomal aberrations and sister chromatid exchange.’
      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.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He understood mathematically why a spherical mirror produces aberration.’
      • ‘Typical aberrations that can impact imaging performance include astigmatism, chromatic aberration, and spherical aberration.’
      • ‘The problems with the microlens array design are low light throughput, non-uniform intensity foci, and lens aberrations.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The slight asymmetry in both the radial and image axis direction indicates small aberrations in the microscope lens.’
      • ‘The design of the complete lens system is focused on controlling aberrations in the optical image.’
      • ‘The focusing mirror preferably has an elliptical shape to reduce off-axis aberrations in the focused beam.’
      • ‘With this data they can program the adaptive optic system to deform the mirror to correct aberrations in the high-energy beam.’
      • ‘Corrective lenses, then, are prescribed to correct for aberrations, to adjust the focal point onto the retina or to compensate for other abnormalities.’
      • ‘We can also improve CD uniformity by reducing optical aberrations in the projection lens.’
    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).