Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


or an·o·my  (ăn′ə-mē)
1. Social instability caused by erosion of standards and values.
2. Alienation and purposelessness experienced by a person or a class as a result of a lack of standards, values, or ideals: "We must now brace ourselves for disquisitions on peer pressure, adolescent anomie and rage" (Charles Krauthammer).

[French, from Greek anomiā, lawlessness, from anomos, lawless : a-, without; see a-1 + nomos, law; see nem- in Indo-European roots.]

a·nom′ic (ə-nŏm′ĭk, ə-nō′mĭk) adj.


(ˈænəʊmɪ) or


(Sociology) sociol lack of social or moral standards in an individual or society
[from Greek anomia lawlessness, from a-1 + nomos law]
anomic adj


or an•o•my

(ˈæn əˌmi)

a condition of an individual or of society characterized by a breakdown or absence of norms and values or a sense of dislocation and alienation.
[1930–35; < French < Greek anomía lawlessness. See a-6, -nomy]
a•nom•ic (əˈnɒm ɪk) adj.
mores, anomie - Mores is the Latin plural of mor/mos and means "acquired customs and manners"; social and moral conventions are mores, and the lack of these is anomie.
See also related terms for social.

anomie, anomy, anomia

a state or condition of individuals or society characterized by an absence or breakdown of social and legal norms and values, as in the case of an uprooted people. — anomic, adj.
See also: Law


1. A term introduced by Durkheim to refer to a situation where the conditions for happiness are absent. Durkheim argued that one of the conditions for happiness was that there should be clear norms governing social behavior. The absence of these norms resulted in anomie and unhappiness.
2. A feeling of anxiety, hopelessness, and lack of purpose caused by the absence or breakdown of standards and values in society.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.anomie - personal state of isolation and anxiety resulting from a lack of social control and regulationanomie - personal state of isolation and anxiety resulting from a lack of social control and regulation
isolation - a state of separation between persons or groups
2.anomie - lack of moral standards in a society
immorality - the quality of not being in accord with standards of right or good conduct; "the immorality of basing the defense of the West on the threat of mutual assured destruction"


, anomy
nAnomie f, → Gesetzlosigkeit f


f (psych) anomia
References in periodicals archive ?
Anomie, a French term, refers to a state of lawlessness, in which a society can't provide moral support to an individual in that society.
The party pointed out that the Amosun administration inherited a general state of helpless anomie which the administration promptly addressed with the result that the state now enjoyed renewed sense of hope in the Amosun era.
One such sociological phenomenon that has been discussed in the literature was developed by Durkheim (1897) and by Srole (1956) and Merton (1938, 1995) in the psychological literature known as anomie and anomia.
Essential to classroom discussion of concepts, the glossary simplifies hyper-reality, anomie, and ninety-four other terms crucial to an understanding of the development of social science.
The Sociology of Deviance" is an exemplary work of impressively accessible scholarship organized and presented in three major section: Background (The Nature of Deviance; Studying Deviance); Theories (An Overview of and Introduction to Sociological Theories of Deviance; Anomie and Structural Theories Extended--Strain Theories; Control Theories; Societal Reaction and Other Social Processes Theories; Conflict and Feminist Theories); Substantive Areas (Suicide; Criminal Behaviors; Addictions and the Use and Abuse of Substances; Sexual Behaviors and Differences; Elite and Power Deviance).
The nineteen contributions that make up the main body of the text are devoted to anomie and general strain theory, labeling theory, Jean PiagetEs theories on deviance, social disorganization, pedophilia, and a wide variety of other related subjects.
I have worked with the concept of anomie in my previous critical writings (2007-2014) to explain the conflict recreated in this second kind of novel.
Anomie, a malfunctioning society and disassociation of morally, cultural and communally defined aspirations and goals generate anti-social behavior.
We advance and test an institutional anomie theory of opportunity entrepreneurship for understanding the combinative effects of selected cultural values and social institutions to explain national differences in rates of opportunity entrepreneurship.
Drawing on Freudian and Marxist theories of alienation, psychoanalytical theories of the self, sociological investigations of mass anomie, postcolonial findings on the subaltern, film theory, ethnic and diaspora studies of minorities and the transnational, and translation and bilingual research, this volume explores a wide range of filmic, written, and other texts in order to explore the concept of "alienglish" among Eastern diasporic speakers of English as a second language.
chicks calling, the winnowing anomaly, anomie, all come to call too
PICTURE: The New York Times Inside the lives and minds of a nation: Russia has one of the highest rates of anomie in the world, even when compared to other post-Soviet states and developing countries.