Definition of anomie in English:


(also anomy)


mass noun
  • Lack of the usual social or ethical standards in an individual or group.

    ‘the theory that high-rise architecture leads to anomie in the residents’
    • ‘In the latter half of her article, Ms Toynbee turns to social anomie among her neighbours in her block of flats.’
    • ‘Deafness and incomprehension, producing anomie and a reluctance to vote, are the default modes of the modern electorate.’
    • ‘It's a really sweet bit of jangly pop, and gives me the feeling that everything is going to be alright, a rare feeling in the current world of turmoil and anomie.’
    • ‘Suburbs have been assigned responsibility not merely for social anomie but also for a range of societal ills from gun violence to oil dependence to obesity.’
    • ‘Culture was also looked towards to counter the alienating experience of industrial society, which was marked by impoverishment and anomie.’
    • ‘The tone of the novel is one of anomie and alienation.’
    • ‘In turn, this anomie led to a search for reorientation.’
    • ‘But governments these days face anomie, impatience, generalised discontent, which are less amenable than they once were to the recompense of doctrinal zeal, for the simple reason that it does not exist.’
    • ‘To find out the how and why we have to go further back, to the 1880s, when London's and Europe's intellectuals were beset with doubt and anomie.’
    • ‘Freedom has been envisaged as the opportunity to do anything, but the removal of restraints can lead to a situation of confusion or anomie.’
    • ‘But this only produces increased anomie and ultimately stasis.’
    • ‘This sample has been used to test the relevance of diverse factors related to economic strain and anomie on individuals' religious affiliation preferences.’
    • ‘Sociologists define anomie as a state where normal values are confused, unclear or not present.’
    • ‘Sociologists, such as Durkheim, Marx, and Weber have all discussed the central problem of modernity with their ideas about anomie, alienation, and the iron cage of bureaucracy.’
    • ‘Complaints of attendant social breakdown, of anomie and alienation, of the dissolution of marriage and households, of the decline of religion, were commonly - and perhaps too glibly - voiced.’
    • ‘Insecurity and violence are closely associated with staggering unemployment, social anomie, and corruption at higher levels of government.’
    • ‘This youthful triangle becomes the centre of the story, a generation adrift because their parents, too, have lost their moorings in a suburban sea of affluence and anxious anomie.’
    • ‘The postwar economic development of Colombia reflects the pervasive social anomie.’
    • ‘Filmed around Wellington, it tells multiple stories of anomie, despair and occasional uplifting moments.’
    • ‘In spite of his brush with big city anomie, he's a survivor, someone who tries to find the good in every situation and strives to be agreeable.’


1930s: from French, from Greek anomia, from anomos ‘lawless’.