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. noun
    a standard or model or pattern regarded as typical
    “the current middle-class norm of two children per family”
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    type of:
    criterion, measure, standard, touchstone
    a basis for comparison; a reference point against which other things can be evaluated
  2. noun
    a statistic describing the location of a distribution
    “it set the norm for American homes”
    synonyms: average
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    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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