an·o·mie or an·o·my (ănə-mē)
1. Social instability caused by erosion of standards and values.
2. Alienation and purposelessness experienced by a person or a social group 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 the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
a·nomic (ə-nŏmĭk, ə-nōmĭk) adj.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.