Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To turn aside from a course or way.
  • intransitive verb To depart, as from a norm, purpose, or subject; differ or stray. synonym: swerve.
  • intransitive verb To cause to turn aside or differ.
  • noun A deviant.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • 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 the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb rare To cause to deviate.
  • adjective having behavior differing from that which is normal or expected, especially in an undesirable or socially disapproved manner.
  • intransitive verb 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.
  • noun 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.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

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

Etymologies

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

[Late Latin dēviāre, dēviāt- : Latin dē-, de- + Latin via, road; see wegh- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Late Latin deviatus, past participle of deviare, from the phrase de via.

Examples

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