deviate

verb
de·vi·ate | \ ˈdē-vē-ˌāt \
deviated; deviating

Definition of deviate 

(Entry 1 of 3)

intransitive verb

1 : to stray especially from a standard, principle, or topic deviating from the subject

2 : to depart from an established course or norm a flight forced by weather to deviate south rarely deviates from his usual routine behaviors that deviate from the norm

transitive verb

: to cause to turn out of a previous course he would deviate rivers, turn the scorched plains … into fertile pastures —F. M. Godfrey

deviate

noun
de·vi·ate | \ -vē-ət , -vē-ˌāt \

Definition of deviate (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : one that deviates from a norm especially : a person who differs markedly from a group norm

2 mathematics : a statistical variable that gives the deviation (see deviation sense b) of another variable from a fixed value (such as the mean)

deviate

adjective
de·vi·ate | \ -vē-ət , -vē-ˌāt \

Definition of deviate (Entry 3 of 3)

: departing significantly from the behavioral norms (see norm sense 2) of a particular society deviate behavior

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Other words from deviate

Verb

deviator \-ˌā-tər \ noun
deviatory \-ə-ˌtȯr-ē \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for deviate

Verb

swerve, veer, deviate, depart, digress, diverge mean to turn aside from a straight course. swerve may suggest a physical, mental, or moral turning away from a given course, often with abruptness. swerved to avoid hitting the dog veer implies a major change in direction. at that point the path veers to the right deviate implies a turning from a customary or prescribed course. never deviated from her daily routine depart suggests a deviation from a traditional or conventional course or type. occasionally departs from his own guidelines digress applies to a departing from the subject of one's discourse. a professor prone to digress diverge may equal depart but usually suggests a branching of a main path into two or more leading in different directions. after school their paths diverged

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.”)

Examples of deviate in a Sentence

Verb

sailors forced to deviate from their course in order to avoid the storm

Noun

a sleazy bar that seemed to be an informal clubhouse for deviates

Adjective

the mother's deviate response to her child's death aroused suspicions
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

At other times, currencies deviate from fundamentals because of temporary disparities in risks and short-term interest rates. The Economist, "Investors are gorging on American assets," 12 July 2018 But some recent news of the film’s development has deviated — if only slightly — from the original cast speculation. refinery29.com, "Meryl Streep's Little Women Role Is More Devil Wears Prada Than We Expected," 4 July 2018 Chipotle’s 2,500 stores aren’t set up to make foods that deviate wildly from the basic menu of burritos, bowls, salads and tacos. Rachel Abrams, New York Times, "Chipotle Will Test a Quesadilla, and a New Strategy," 21 June 2018 What’s more crucial is nailing the handful of attributes that define the wine for the casual drinker, those points of difference that deviate from the norm. Bruce Schoenfeld, WIRED, "Your Next Glass of Wine Might Be a Fake—and You'll Love It," 30 May 2018 The gears system, like the rest of Mega Man 11, feels fresh without deviating from what the Mega Man series has always stood for. Kyle Orland, Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "The top ten games from E3 2018," 19 June 2018 But their approach to the weekend won't deviate from what's worked in recent months, McDonnell said. Jeff Greer, The Courier-Journal, "Heat is on for Louisville pitchers this weekend at the NCAA Tournament," 29 May 2018 The only thing American Protestants love more than holding summits is fighting at summits, and the Wheaton event did not deviate from the traditions of the faith. Sarah Jones, The New Republic, "A Christian Awakening?," 24 Apr. 2018 Sometimes, that can mean deviating from the more traditional circular format your mind probably jumps to. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "These Tetrahedral Gears Are Wonderfully Pointless," 29 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Thomas faces preliminary charges of rape with deadly force, rape with deadly weapon, and criminal deviate conduct, IMPD said. Vic Ryckaert, Indianapolis Star, "Wisconsin man arrested in connection with 1998 rape of Indianapolis woman," 22 Jan. 2018 He was convicted on three counts: rape, criminal deviate conduct and robbery. CBS News, "Guilty until Proven Innocent," 9 Dec. 2017 But the areas of common ground make clear the extent to which President Trump’s views on the government’s role in health care deviate from those of respected voices on both the left and the right. Amy Goldstein, Washington Post, "Bipartisan health policy coalition urges Congress to strengthen the ACA," 9 Aug. 2017 After submitting a plea agreement, Riley was sentenced to seven years for involuntary manslaughter and 31 years for criminal deviate conduct. Ruth Ann Krause, Post-Tribune, "Gary man sentenced to 91 years in woman's shooting death," 11 July 2017 Riley was convicted in 1997 of involuntary manslaughter and criminal deviate conduct involving a 10-month-old child. Ruth Ann Krause, Post-Tribune, "Prosecutor: Riley's story doesn't add up," 5 June 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Aggravating circumstances: Rape/criminal deviate conduct, on probation or parole, mutilation/torture. Tim Evans, Indianapolis Star, "Indiana death row holds 11 prisoners," 31 Jan. 2014

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'deviate.' 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 deviate

Verb

circa 1633, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Noun

1912, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1929, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for deviate

Verb

Late Latin deviatus, past participle of deviare, from Latin de- + via way — more at way

Noun

see deviate entry 1

Adjective

see deviate entry 1

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Statistics for deviate

Last Updated

7 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for deviate

The first known use of deviate was circa 1633

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More Definitions for deviate

deviate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of deviate

: to do something that is different or to be different from what is usual or expected

deviate

verb
de·vi·ate | \ ˈdē-vē-ˌāt \
deviated; deviating

Kids Definition of deviate

: to follow a course, principle, standard, or topic that is different from usual He never deviates from his daily routine.

deviate

adjective
de·vi·ate | \ ˈdē-vē-ət , -vē-ˌāt \

Medical Definition of deviate 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: characterized by or given to significant departure from the behavioral norms of a particular society

deviate

noun

Medical Definition of deviate (Entry 2 of 2)

: one that deviates from a norm especially : a person who differs markedly from a group norm

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Comments on deviate

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