deviant

play
adjective de·vi·ant \-ənt\

Definition of deviant

  1. :  straying or deviating especially from an accepted norm (see norm 2) <deviant behavior>

deviant

noun

Examples of deviant in a sentence

  1. a study of deviant behavior among criminals

  2. <some studies show that many violent criminals begin exhibiting deviant behavior in early childhood>

deviant & deviate

Deviant and deviate share a common root (the Latin deviare “to wander off the road, swerve, deviate”) and have some similarities in meaning, but they differ in notable ways. Deviant has functioned in English as an adjective (since the 15th century) and as a noun (since the early 20th century), in each case with a sense that suggests a straying from an accepted norm or from what is considered standard behavior. In contrast to deviant’s socially prescriptive connotations, the verb deviate often implies a less judgmental sense of swerving from the usual way (as in “he never deviated from his routine of drinking coffee with breakfast.”)

Origin and Etymology of deviant

see 1deviate


First Known Use: 15th century


DEVIANT Defined for English Language Learners

deviant

play
adjective de·vi·ant \-ənt\

Definition of deviant for English Language Learners

  • : different from what is considered to be normal or morally correct


Medical Dictionary

1

deviant

play
adjective de·vi·ant \-ənt\

Medical Definition of deviant

  1. :  deviating especially from some accepted norm :  characterized by deviation (as from a standard of conduct) <socially deviant behavior>


2

deviant

noun de·vi·ant

Medical Definition of deviant

  1. :  something that deviates from a norm; especially :  a person who differs markedly (as in social adjustment or sexual behavior) from what is considered normal for a group



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