deviation

noun
de·vi·a·tion | \ ˌdē-vē-ˈā-shən \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other words from deviation

deviationism \-shə-ˌni-zəm \ noun
deviationist \-sh(ə-)nist \ 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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

In 2015, amid the ongoing stretch of rising water levels in the Great Lakes, the control board implemented a modified regulatory plan that allows it to make small deviations to the amount of water released from Lake Superior without oversight. Tony Briscoe, chicagotribune.com, "What happens when Lake Superior has too much water? It dumps it into an already overflowing Lake Michigan," 13 July 2018 As such, the deviations from the standard layout feel particularly acute to me. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "The 25th-anniversary ThinkPad: Every laptop should add some retro appeal," 1 Apr. 2018 But in all the rest, there hasn't been much deviation from the original plan, to hear him tell it Thursday. Jon Meoli, baltimoresun.com, "Try as they might, Orioles can't use out-of-position players as reason for league's worst defense," 12 July 2018 The pick, especially the first name, is a pleasantly surprising deviation from the more traditional, old-fashioned names of other female royals, like Catherine, Charlotte, or Beatrice. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Zara Tindall's New Baby Girl Has So Many Royal Connections in Her Name," 27 June 2018 Previous performers at the festival have included Flume, Empire of the Sun, Giorgio Moroder and — in a rare deviation from the festival’s nearly-all-electronic-music-nearly-all-the-time format — the Flaming Lips and TV On The Radio. George Varga, sandiegouniontribune.com, "CRSSD Festival announces fall 2018 lineup, including Bob Moses, Marian Hill, Claptone, Sofi Tukker," 28 June 2018 There’s no deviation from the party line as there was when Megyn Kelly was part of the Fox News lineup. David Zurawik, baltimoresun.com, "Trump propaganda is even worse than you think on Fox News these nights," 17 May 2018 Rose puts the Montagues in mostly red and the Capulets in mostly black or dark blue, with deviations that blur the lines. Jeffrey Gantz, BostonGlobe.com, "Boston Ballet elevates Cranko’s ‘Romeo & Juliet’," 16 Mar. 2018 The issue was caused by a frequency deviation in the electric system from the mean value of 50 Hz since mid-January 2018 (the standard is 60 Hz in America). Jon Laiseca, National Geographic, "Why European Clocks Are Running 6 Minutes Late," 13 Mar. 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.

See More

First Known Use of deviation

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for deviation

see deviate entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about deviation

Statistics for deviation

Last Updated

10 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for deviation

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

: 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 \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on deviation

What made you want to look up deviation? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a magnificent or impressive array

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!