Definition of deviation in English:

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Pronunciation: /diːvɪˈeɪʃ(ə)n/


[mass noun]
1The action of departing from an established course or accepted standard: deviation from a norm sexual deviation [count noun]: deviations from Standard English
More example sentences
  • As with most careful plans, this one started off with deviations from the standard fly-by.
  • With a few deviations, the open standards of the World Wide Web have been pretty much maintained.
  • In addition, it is the treatment of choice for the most serious sexual deviations, such as sexual sadism.
divergence, digression, turning aside, departure, deflection, difference, variation, variance, alteration, veering, straying, fluctuation, aberration, abnormality, irregularity, anomaly, inconsistency, discrepancy, variableness, oddness, freakishness;
change, shift, veer, swerve, bend, drift
2 Statistics The amount by which a single measurement differs from a fixed value such as the mean: a significant deviation from the average value
More example sentences
  • And there was no statistically significant deviation in incidence rates of other cancers attributable to radiation exposure from the accident.
  • The average numbers and average deviation of five measurements are reported.
  • The sequences were analyzed for randomness in dinucleotide frequencies and no statistically significant deviation was found.
3The deflection of a ship’s compass needle caused by iron in the ship.
Example sentences
  • In 1819 Barlow began work on the problem of deviation in ship compasses caused by the presence of iron in the hull.
  • There he began work on compass deviation, a topic he would return to many times.



Pronunciation: /ˌdiːvɪˈeɪʃ(ə)nɪz(ə)m/
Example sentences
  • Follow the revolutionary line of the Third Internationale in the heroic struggle against left deviationism!
  • Though the language he used was different, his alarm at deviationism and his insistence on adherence to the party line mirrored the Stalinist culture in which he operated for so long.
  • I intend to hold the Commissar for Justice to the CPGB's election promise when they come to lock me up for rightist deviationism.


Pronunciation: /ˌdiːvɪˈeɪʃ(ə)nɪst/
Example sentences
  • You'd probably have to put me down as a revisionist Kautskyite Menshevik, or maybe a rightist deviationist with extreme petty bourgeois tendencies.
  • Throughout Soviet history, every new leader claimed to be going back to pure Leninist principles, while labeling his predecessor a deviationist.
  • Fired by ideology each believes the other to be a deviationist.


Example sentences
  • For a detailed explanation of standard deviational ellipses see the excellent book by David Ebdon.
  • The values of the deviational variables for this plan can be calculated by substituting these values in the objectives.
  • In case of GP each breakpoint is determined as a goal so the number of constraints and the deviational variables are drastically increased.


Late Middle English: via French from medieval Latin deviatio(n-), from Latin deviare (see deviate).

  • via from late 18th century:

    The Latin word via meant ‘way, road’. It survives in the names of major Roman roads, such as Via Appia. The Christian Church also uses it in terms such as the Via Dolorosa, the route Jesus is believed to have taken to crucifixion and meaning ‘the painful path’. A deviation (Late Middle English) is literally a turning away from the path as is behaviour that is devious (late 16th century). Viaduct was formed from via in the early 19th century on the model of aqueduct ( see duct). An envoy (mid 17th century) is someone sent on their way, formed from French envoyé ‘sent’, while obvious (late 16th century) comes from Latin ob viam ‘in the way’.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: de¦vi|ation

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