deviate

verb
de·​vi·​ate | \ ˈdē-vē-ˌāt How to pronounce deviate (audio) \
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 | \ ˈdē-vē-ət How to pronounce deviate (audio) , -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 | \ ˈdē-vē-ət How to pronounce deviate (audio) , -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 \ ˈdē-​vē-​ˌā-​tər How to pronounce deviator (audio) \ noun
deviatory \ ˈdē-​vē-​ə-​ˌtȯr-​ē How to pronounce deviatory (audio) \ 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

Hallgrimsson is unlikely to deviate too much from the side that faced Ghana, though Birkir Mar Saevarsson may return at right back. SI.com, "World Cup Preview: Argentina vs Iceland - Recent Form, Stats, Team News & More," 15 June 2018 Kim and Moon repeatedly appeared to deviate from the carefully prepared schedule and the official choreography. Joyce Lee, Washington Post, "The historic Kim-Moon meeting as it unfolded," 27 Apr. 2018 About halfway through the season, a major plot event shows that the showrunners are willing to change gears, and take the story to places that significantly deviate from the comics. Samantha Nelson, The Verge, "Season 2 of Runaways forges a bold new path — eventually," 21 Dec. 2018 In fact, the book series and the television show will deviate further in their second installments, as Waller-Bridge steps away from the production, and new showrunner Emerald Fennell steps in. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Codename Villanelle Author Luke Jennings on Why Sandra Oh Is "Just Perfect" to Play Eve," 4 Apr. 2019 Irrespective of how responses have evolved over the past two years, Trump has not deviated from his personal script. Joan Biskupic, CNN, "Trump's sustained attacks on American rights," 26 May 2018 That was before the rules kicked in, before the fortresses had been erected and their feudal lords had exiled anyone who dared deviate too much from the norm. Stephen Galloway, The Hollywood Reporter, "Stephen Hawking and the Search for a Hollywood Genius," 16 Mar. 2018 Each season of Outlander thus far has been loosely based on one book, but there's a chance moving forward that the writers will deviate from that structure. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Outlander Season 6: Everything We Know So Far," 23 Mar. 2019 Other countries are deviating from the model of liberal democracy—based on checks and balances and the rule of law—which the EU was supposed to help promote. Marcus Walker, WSJ, "EU Countries Face a Menu of Challenges," 20 Jan. 2019

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, Noun, and Adjective

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

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Statistics for deviate

Last Updated

15 Jun 2019

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 How to pronounce deviate (audio) \
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 How to pronounce deviate (audio) , -vē-ˌāt How to pronounce deviate (audio) \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on deviate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with deviate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for deviate

Spanish Central: Translation of deviate

Nglish: Translation of deviate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of deviate for Arabic Speakers

Comments on deviate

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