Definition of subnormal in US English:



  • Not meeting standards or reaching a level regarded as usual, especially with respect to intelligence or development.

    • ‘My daughter, 37, is severely subnormal and does not speak.’
    • ‘Ironically, she had always hated the idea of being a teacher, but after joining the staff of the university's psychiatric clinic, she found herself fascinated by the challenge of educating mentally subnormal children.’
    • ‘A significant number risk osteoporosis in later life due to subnormal bone density.’
    • ‘What is not typical may be exceptional, and so better than it; but what is not ‘normal’ is infallibly worse than it - abnormal or subnormal.’
    • ‘Pregnancies can be established with subnormal parameters, illustrating the importance of the female partner's fertility potential and the fact that an abnormal semen analysis cannot be equated with subfertility.’
    • ‘Epilepsy does not shorten life or cause insanity or subnormal intelligence.’
    • ‘Understandably, Roy was extremely worried, not just about the turn of events that day, but because he knew that his son Stephen was educationally subnormal with the mental age of an 11-year-old.’
    • ‘Disappointingly, I missed out on subnormal by two points.’
    • ‘It also gives the medical profession a privileged position in determining who is disabled, as the study and treatment of normal and subnormal human functioning is the specialty of that profession.’
    • ‘In the production of PT materials, it is often necessary to chemically remove analytes from PT specimens or to dilute the PT material with artificial diluents in order to obtain subnormal target values.’
    • ‘He's a man of limited intelligence, he's got a very subnormal IQ, and they wanted to hang the crime on someone.’
    • ‘I suspect it was in fact a holding pen for all of Brighton's mentally subnormal and alcoholic inhabitants.’
    • ‘Stone, a 67-year-old man of low intelligence, partially deaf and almost blind, lived in a house with his mistress Dobinson, who was ineffectual and inadequate, and Stone's subnormal son.’
    • ‘Patients with unilateral or bilateral paralysis have subnormal exercise capacity, and oxygen consumption (normalized by minute ventilation) at peak exercise is increased.’
    • ‘The resolution of the dilemma is for the tax to be based on the highest valued possible current use rather than the actual current use, thus facing the possessor with the need to either shift use or accept a subnormal return.’
    • ‘The Likely Lads is noteworthy for being one of the few sitcoms that didn't portray ordinary people as educationally subnormal or criminally minded.’
    • ‘This range is broad enough to create a difference between normal tissue glutathione peroxidase and subnormal levels.’
    • ‘Aldosterone production is preserved in secondary adrenal failure; renin concentrations will therefore be normal, and Synacthen tests will show a subnormal response to cortisol.’
    • ‘Patients exhibit subnormal eye and skin pigmentation due to aberrant melanosome development.’
    • ‘The most obvious example of this is in autistic spectrum disorder - a wide-ranging diagnosis now used for many children who would previously have been diagnosed as subnormal.’