from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive v. To turn aside from a course or way.
  • intransitive v. To depart, as from a norm, purpose, or subject; stray. See Synonyms at swerve.
  • transitive v. To cause to turn aside or differ.
  • n. A deviant.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A person with deviant behaviour; a deviant, degenerate or pervert.
  • n. A value equal to the difference between a measured variable factor and a fixed or algorithmic reference value.
  • v. To go off course from; to change course; to change plans.
  • v. To fall outside of, or part from, some norm; to stray.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. having behavior differing from that which is normal or expected, especially in an undesirable or socially disapproved manner.
  • n. a person having behavior differing from that which is normal or socially acceptable; -- used especially to characterize persons whose sexual behavior is considered morally unacceptable.
  • intransitive v. To go out of the way; to turn aside from a course or a method; to stray or go astray; to err; to digress; to diverge; to vary.
  • transitive v. To cause to deviate.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To turn aside or wander from the way or course; err; swerve: as, to deviate from the common track or path, or from a true course.
  • To take a different course; diverge; differ.
  • To cause to swerve; lead astray.
  • To change the direction or position of, as a ray of light or the plane of polarization. See biquartz.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. be at variance with; be out of line with
  • v. turn aside; turn away from
  • v. cause to turn away from a previous or expected course
  • n. a person whose behavior deviates from what is acceptable especially in sexual behavior
  • adj. markedly different from an accepted norm


Late Latin dēviāre, dēviāt- : Latin dē-, de- + Latin via, road; see wegh- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Late Latin deviatus, past participle of deviare, from the phrase de via. (Wiktionary)


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