the act of deviating.
departure from a standard or norm.
Statistics. the difference between one of a set of values and some fixed value, usually the mean of the set.
Navigation. the error of a magnetic compass, as that of a ship, on a given heading as a result of local magnetism. Compare variation ( def 8 ).
Also called deflection. the bending of rays of light away from a straight line.
departure or divergence from an established dogma or ideology, especially a Communist one.

1375–1425; late Middle English (< Middle French) < Medieval Latin dēviātiōn- (stem of dēviātiō), equivalent to Late Latin dēviāt(us) (see deviate) + -iōn- -ion

deviatory [dee-vee-uh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] , deviative, adjective
nondeviation, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
deviation (ˌdiːvɪˈeɪʃən)
1.  an act or result of deviating
2.  statistics the difference between an observed value in a series of such values and their arithmetic mean
3.  the error of a compass due to local magnetic disturbances

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1640s, noun of action from L. deviare (see deviant). Statistical sense is from 1858.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

deviation de·vi·a·tion (dē'vē-ā'shən)

  1. A turning away or aside from a normal course.

  2. An abnormality.

  3. Deviant behavior or attitudes.

  4. The difference, especially the absolute difference, between one number in a set and the mean of the set.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
deviation   (dē'vē-ā'shən)  Pronunciation Key 
The difference between one number in a set and the mean of the set.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Second, it is also possible to transform the data, depending on the deviation.
Smaller population sizes, of course, increase the standard deviation of the
  averages distribution.
The deviation in distance of luminosity vs redshift is exactly what you should
  expect from an expanding universe.
The main arguments it takes are the average and the standard deviation of the
  distribution you want.
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