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

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 The film’s deviance amounts to little more than a few campy in-jokes: when the villain breaks into Ana and Christian's penthouse, a member of their security detail pins him down and laments her lack of restraints. Leah Pickett, Chicago Reader, "Fifty Shades Freed: Come for the BDSM, stay for the lifestyle porn," 9 Feb. 2018 Reed combined literary aspirations with a fearless eye for deviance and, by extension, a staunch defense of freedom of expression. James Sullivan, San Francisco Chronicle, "‘Lou Reed: A Life,’ by Anthony DeCurtis," 4 Jan. 2018 In a typical Hollywood movie, important architecture, especially important modern architecture, would be a symbol of big-city sophistication (or even, as documentarian Thom Andersen and others have pointed out, of deviance or criminality). Christopher Hawthorne,, "'Meth and modernism': The understated 'Columbus' offers a complex portrait of small-town America," 3 Aug. 2017

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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Statistics for deviance

Last Updated

3 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for deviance

The first known use of deviance was in 1941

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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

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recurring in steady succession

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