verb (used without object)
to turn aside, as from a route, way, course, etc.
to depart or swerve, as from a procedure, course of action, or acceptable norm.
to digress, as from a line of thought or reasoning.
< Late Latin dēviātus
turned from the straight road, past participle of dēviāre.
deviable, adjectivedeviability [dee-vee-uh-bil-i-tee] /ˌdi vi əˈbɪl ɪ ti/ Show IPA, noundeviator, nounnondeviating, adjectiveundeviable, adjectiveundeviated, adjectiveundeviating, adjectiveundeviatingly, adverb
Can be confused
veer, wander, stray. Deviate, digress, diverge, swerve
imply turning or going aside from a path. To deviate
is to turn or wander, often by slight degrees, from what is considered the most direct or desirable approach to a given physical, intellectual, or moral end: Fear caused him to deviate from the truth. To digress
is primarily to wander from the main theme or topic in writing or speaking: Some authors digress to relate entertaining episodes.
Two paths diverge
when they proceed from a common point in such directions that the distance between them increases: The sides of an angle diverge from a common point. Their interests gradually diverged. To swerve
is to make a sudden or sharp turn from a line or course: The car swerved to avoid striking a pedestrian.