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normal Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun something regarded as a normative example
    formula; pattern; rule; convention.
    • the convention of not naming the main character
    • violence is the rule not the exception
    • his formula for impressing visitors
  2. adjective conforming with or constituting a norm or standard or level or type or social norm; not abnormal
    • serve wine at normal room temperature
    • normal diplomatic relations
    • normal working hours
    • normal word order
    • normal curiosity
    • the normal course of events
  3. adjective in accordance with scientific laws
  4. adjective being approximately average or within certain limits in e.g. intelligence and development
    • a perfectly normal child
    • of normal intelligence
    • the most normal person I've ever met
  5. adjective satellite forming a right angle

Nor"mal adjective
L. normalis, fr. norma rule, pattern, carpenter's square; prob. akin to noscere to know; cf. Gr. well known, gnomon, also, carpenter's square: cf. F. normal. See Known, and cf. Abnormal, Enormous.
  1. According to an established norm, rule, or principle; conformed to a type, standard, or regular form; performing the proper functions; not abnormal; regular; natural; analogical.
    Deviations from the normal type. Hallam.
  2. (Geom.) According to a square or rule; perpendicular; forming a right angle. Specifically: Of or pertaining to a normal.
  3. (Chem.) Standard; original; exact; typical. Specifically: (a) (Quantitative Analysis) Denoting a solution of such strength that every cubic centimeter contains the same number of milligrams of the element in question as the number of its molecular weight. (b) (Chem.) Denoting certain hypothetical compounds, as acids from which the real acids are obtained by dehydration; thus, normal sulphuric acid and normal nitric acid are respectively S(OH)6, and N(OH)5. (c) (Organ. Chem.) Denoting that series of hydrocarbons in which no carbon atom is united with more than two other carbon atoms; as, normal pentane, hexane, etc. Cf. Iso-. Syn. -- Normal, Regular, Ordinary. Regular and ordinary are popular terms of well-known signification; normal has now a more specific sense, arising out of its use in science. A thing is normal, or in its normal state, when strictly conformed to those principles of its constitution which mark its species or to the standard of a healthy and natural condition. It is abnormal when it departs from those principles.
Nor"mal noun
Cf. F. normale, ligne normale. See Normal, a.
  1. (Geom.) Any perpendicular.
  2. (Geom.) A straight line or plane drawn from any point of a curve or surface so as to be perpendicular to the curve or surface at that point. ✍ The term normal is also used to denote the distance along the normal line from the curve to the axis of abscissas or to the center of curvature.

Webster 1913