enormity vs outrageousness what difference

what is difference between enormity and outrageousness



From Late Middle English ēnorme (monstrous or unnatural act; enormity), from Old French énormité (enormity), from Latin ēnormitās (irregularity; enormity), from ēnōrmis (irregular, unusual; enormous, immense) + -itās (suffix forming nouns indicating states of being). Ēnōrmis is derived from e- (a variant of ex- (prefix meaning ‘out; away’) + nōrma (norm, standard) + -is (Latin suffix forming adjectives from nouns).


  • (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ɪˈnɔːmɪti/
  • (General American) IPA(key): /ɪˈnɔɹmɪti/, /-ɾi/
  • Hyphenation: enorm‧i‧ty


enormity (countable and uncountable, plural enormities)

  1. (obsolete) Deviation from what is normal or standard; irregularity, abnormality.
  2. (uncountable) Deviation from moral normality; extreme wickedness, nefariousness, or cruelty. [from 15th c.]
  3. (countable) A breach of law or morality; a transgression, an act of evil or wickedness. [from 15th c.]
  4. (uncountable) Great size; enormousness, hugeness, immenseness. [from 18th c.]

Usage notes

Enormity as a synonym for enormousness is sometimes considered an error, though other usage guides hold that there is little basis for the distinction. Both words ultimately go back to the same Latin source word ēnōrmis meaning “deviating from the norm, abnormal”.


  • (deviation from what is normal or standard): anomalousness, oddness, weirdness; see also Thesaurus:strangeness
  • (deviation from moral normality): atrociousness, depravity, immorality; see also Thesaurus:villainy
  • (a breach of law or morality): desecration, violation
  • (great size): immensity, prodigiousness

Related terms





outrageous +‎ -ness


outrageousness (plural outrageousnesses)

  1. The quality of being outrageous

Related terms

  • outrageously

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