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 \ ˌdē-​vē-​ˈā-​shə-​ˌni-​zəm How to pronounce deviation (audio) \ noun
deviationist \ ˌdē-​vē-​ˈā-​sh(ə-​)nist How to pronounce deviation (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 The initial petition, from October 2020, said an Accord owner experienced deviation from the intended path of travel without warning or driver input. Laura Sky Brown, Car and Driver, 10 May 2021 Up until then, synthesizer use had been limited to experimental music; Switched-On marked a deviation from those avant-garde roots and paved the way for bringing synths into popular music. Beth Holzer, Wired, 7 May 2021 Disney Plus is mixing things up with its release of Loki, moving up its premiere date and changing the whole schedule for new episodes going forward, a deviation from its normal Friday releases. Paul Tassi, Forbes, 6 May 2021 That hotel, a Hampton Inn & Suites, still will require a deviation because there won’t be a restaurant contained within the building. Suzanne Baker,, 4 Apr. 2021 The health department will decide before Thursday if there will be any deviation from what the state allows. Aidin Vaziri, San Francisco Chronicle, 4 May 2021 Couldn’t the bank recognize from the tripping of its own alert system that this transaction was a deviation? Whizy Kim,, 28 Apr. 2021 History has shown that wars, pandemics, and recessions are not just deviation from a trend, but rather lead to fresh growth opportunities amid permanent shifts in society and business. Tom Deegan, Fortune, 22 Apr. 2021 The state's deviation from initial vaccine priorities also has upset some groups who are still waiting for access. Jeremy Olson, Star Tribune, 8 Feb. 2021

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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Learn More about deviation

Time Traveler for deviation

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for deviation

Last Updated

6 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Deviation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for deviation



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


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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