A learned borrowing from Latin aberrātiō (“relief, diversion”), first attested in 1594 , from aberrō (“wander away, go astray”), from ab (“away”) + errō (“wander”). Compare French aberration. See also aberrate.
aberration (countable and uncountable, plural aberrations)
- The act of wandering; deviation from truth, moral rectitude; abnormal; divergence from the straight, correct, proper, normal, or from the natural state. [Late 16 century.]
- (optics) The convergence to different foci, by a lens or mirror, of rays of light emanating from one and the same point, or the deviation of such rays from a single focus; a defect in a focusing mechanism that prevents the intended focal point. [Mid 18 century.]
- (astronomy) A small periodical change of position in the stars and other heavenly bodies, due to the combined effect of the motion of light and the motion of the observer. [Mid 18 century.]
- A partial alienation of reason. [Early 19 century.]
- A mental disorder, especially one of a minor or temporary character. [Early 19 century.]
- (zoology, botany) Atypical development or structure; deviation from the normal type; an aberrant organ. [Mid 19 century.]
- (medicine) A deviation of a tissue, organ or mental functions from what is considered to be within the normal range.
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