norm

A statistical average is called the norm. If you live in a town made up mostly of farmers but your trade is basket weaving, then you're outside the norm.

The noun norm is from the Latin word norma, which was a carpenter's square or pattern used in construction to make regular corners. Now we use norm for anything that sets a standard. You can score within the norm on a standardized test, score above the norm on an IQ test, or fall below the norm in acceptable standards of dress if you wear a halter top and cut-off jeans to a formal ball.

DEFINITIONS OF: norm

1

n a standard or model or pattern regarded as typical

“the current middle-class norm of two children per family”
Type of:
criterion, measure, standard, touchstone
a basis for comparison; a reference point against which other things can be evaluated

n a statistic describing the location of a distribution

“it set the norm for American homes”
Synonyms:
average
Types:
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age norm
the average age at which particular performances are expected to appear
modal value, mode
the most frequent value of a random variable
median, median value
the value below which 50% of the cases fall
mean, mean value
an average of n numbers computed by adding some function of the numbers and dividing by some function of n
arithmetic mean, expectation, expected value, first moment
the sum of the values of a random variable divided by the number of values
geometric mean
the mean of n numbers expressed as the n-th root of their product
harmonic mean
the mean of n numbers expressed as the reciprocal of the arithmetic mean of the reciprocals of the numbers
Type of:
statistic
a datum that can be represented numerically
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