de·​vi·​ance | \ ˈdē-vē-ən(t)s How to pronounce deviance (audio) \

Definition of deviance

: deviant quality, state, or behavior

Examples of deviance in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Most of Trump’s loyal Republican officials and thought leaders have allowed the normalization of his political deviance by their deeds and failure to speak out. Doug Friednash, The Denver Post, "Friednash: Trump’s assault on the truth has endangered our republic," 22 Nov. 2019 Mr Trump’s deviance from prior norms raises this bar. The Economist, "The move towards impeachment marks a dangerous shift," 26 Sep. 2019 Hartman looks at women who have been narrated in terms of deviance and deprivation, and asks us to see their lives as experiments in new kinds of freedom and loving. New York Times, "Leslie Jamison on the Best Book She Ever Got as a Present," 19 Sep. 2019 Criminologists have long known that networks play an important role in deviance and violence. Annie Sweeney,, "Can police data predict how ‘bad apple’ officers influence their fellow cops? New study says yes.," 1 Aug. 2019 For all the deviance, the play's ambitions remain rooted to the study of its characters. Chris Jones,, "In 'The Roommate' at Steppenwolf, directed by Phylicia Rashad, the Bronx meets Midwestern nice," 1 July 2018 However, there are also innate characteristics that can make someone uniquely vulnerable or invulnerable; extreme family traits or circumstances that explain the deviance. Chris Cuomo, CNN, "Chris Cuomo: What I learned about evil from America's notorious criminals," 14 June 2018 Gender traitors and rebels are hanged on the wall, a continual threat that any deviance from Gilead will not be tolerated., "The Real-Life Origins Of The Rites & Rituals Seen In The Handmaid's Tale," 9 May 2018 She's made to watch a weird short film about deviance, which happens to star Moose and Kevin as two young men who forgo socializing with women to spend time alone together. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Riverdale Season 2 Episode 17: Veronica and Toni Just Staged a Daring Rescue of Cheryl," 29 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'deviance.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of deviance

1941, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for deviance

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The first known use of deviance was in 1941

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Statistics for deviance

Last Updated

10 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Deviance.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 29 January 2020.

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More Definitions for deviance


de·​vi·​ance | \ ˈdē-vē-ən(t)s How to pronounce deviance (audio) \

Medical Definition of deviance

: deviant quality, state, or behavior

More from Merriam-Webster on deviance

Britannica English: Translation of deviance for Arabic Speakers

Comments on deviance

What made you want to look up deviance? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to assert without proof or before proving

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