deviation

noun
de·​vi·​a·​tion | \ ˌdē-vē-ˈā-shən How to pronounce deviation (audio) \

Definition of deviation

: an act or instance of deviating: such as
a navigation : deflection of the needle of a compass caused by local magnetic influences (as in a ship)
b mathematics : the difference between a value in a frequency distribution and a fixed number (such as the mean)
c : departure from an established ideology or party line deviation from Communist orthodoxy
d : noticeable or marked departure from accepted norms (see norm sense 2) of behavior

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Other Words from deviation

deviationism \ -​shə-​ˌni-​zəm How to pronounce deviationism (audio) \ noun
deviationist \ -​sh(ə-​)nist How to pronounce deviationist (audio) \ noun or adjective

Examples of deviation in a Sentence

There have been slight deviations in the satellite's orbit. Having juice instead of coffee was a deviation from his usual routine. The pattern's deviation from the norm is significant.
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Recent Examples on the Web

But setting aside its aesthetics and the untouched core game design, Black Ops 4 is a creative and fascinating deviation from the formula. Nick Statt, The Verge, "Black Ops 4 merges Fortnite and PUBG into the best Call of Duty in years," 19 Oct. 2018 The deviations the automaker acknowledged in those scandals were more directly related to product quality, such as mileage, emissions and plant inspections. Yuri Kageyama, The Seattle Times, "As Ghosn heads for Nissan exit, Renault merger hopes fade," 21 Nov. 2018 The main difference is that this is a deviation from the birth plan due to emergency circumstances, and this means that everything will need to be done much, much faster. Korin Miller, SELF, "Here’s What An Emergency C-Section Actually Is," 9 Aug. 2018 In order for this to actually be put in place, California legislature has to now approve it by a two-thirds vote, and then Congress would have to allow the deviation. Dani Deahl, The Verge, "California moves toward permanent daylight saving time," 7 Nov. 2018 But how rare is that kind of deviation from the norm? Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Climate change brings Britain and Ireland’s hidden past to the surface," 1 Aug. 2018 For those of us who spend 9-to-5 in a corporate office, that moment of second-guessing could apply to even the subtlest deviation from the norm—a colorful pump, for instance, or a pair of black jeans that might just pass for trousers. Emily Farra, Vogue, "Serious Question: Can You Wear a Caftan to the Office?," 27 July 2018 In the 19th century, many doctors believed that breast cancer was caused by deviation from appropriate womanhood, from failing to use one’s female reproductive system correctly, which of course meant childbearing and breastfeeding. Sascha Cohen, SELF, "I Felt Like I Deserved My Breast Cancer," 17 May 2018 Markle's bun look from January 2018, however, was loose, free, and a total deviation. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Every Single Time Meghan Markle's Broken Royal Protocol," 16 July 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for deviation

see deviate entry 1

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Last Updated

12 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for deviation

The first known use of deviation was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for deviation

deviation

noun

English Language Learners Definition of deviation

: an action, behavior, or condition that is different from what is usual or expected
technical : the difference between the average of a group of numbers and a particular number in that group

deviation

noun
de·​vi·​a·​tion | \ ˌdē-vē-ˈā-shən How to pronounce deviation (audio) \

Medical Definition of deviation

: an act or instance of diverging from an established way or in a new direction: as
a : evolutionary differentiation involving interpolation of new stages in the ancestral pattern of morphogenesis
b : noticeable or marked departure from accepted norms of behavior

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