Definitions

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

  • n. The act of deviating or turning aside.
  • n. An abnormality; a departure: "Vice was a deviation from our nature” ( Henry Fielding).
  • n. Deviant behavior or attitudes.
  • n. Divergence from an accepted political policy or party line.
  • n. Deflection of a compass needle caused by local magnetic influence, especially on a ship.
  • n. Statistics The difference, especially the absolute difference, between one number in a set and the mean of the set.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The act of deviating; a wandering from the way; variation from the common way, from an established rule, etc.; departure, as from the right course or the path of duty.
  • n. The state or result of having deviated; a transgression; an act of sin; an error; an offense.
  • n. The voluntary and unnecessary departure of a ship from, or delay in, the regular and usual course of the specific voyage insured, thus releasing the underwriters from their responsibility.
  • n. The shortest distance between the center of the target and the point where a projectile hits or bursts.
  • n. For interval variables and ratio variables, a measure of difference between the observed value and the mean.
  • n. The signed difference between a value and its reference value.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of deviating; a wandering from the way; variation from the common way, from an established rule, etc.; departure, as from the right course or the path of duty.
  • n. The state or result of having deviated; a transgression; an act of sin; an error; an offense.
  • n. The voluntary and unnecessary departure of a ship from, or delay in, the regular and usual course of the specific voyage insured, thus releasing the underwriters from their responsibility.
  • n. the difference between an expected value of an observation or measurement and the actual value.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The act of deviating; a turning aside from the way or course.
  • n. Departure from a certain standard or from a rule of conduct, an original plan, etc.; variation; specifically, obliquity of conduct.
  • n. In com., the voluntary departure of a ship without necessity, or without reasonable cause, from the regular and usual course of the specific voyage insured.
  • n. In astronomy, the oscillatory motion of a plane; especially, in the Ptolemaic system, the oscillation of the plane of the orbit of a planet, which was supposed to account for certain inequalities in the latitude.
  • n. If the law of error be stated by the equation , more conveniently written , then is called by Pearson the standard deviation. The square root of the average of the squared departures from the mean in both directions is a measure of variability called the standard deviation.

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

  • n. a turning aside (of your course or attention or concern)
  • n. the difference between an observed value and the expected value of a variable or function
  • n. deviate behavior
  • n. the error of a compass due to local magnetic disturbances
  • n. a variation that deviates from the standard or norm

Etymologies

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