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[dee-vee-ey-shuh n] /ˌdi viˈeɪ ʃən/
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).
  1. Also called deflection. the bending of rays of light away from a straight line.
  2. angle of deviation.
departure or divergence from an established dogma or ideology, especially a Communist one.
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English (< Middle French) < Medieval Latin dēviātiōn- (stem of dēviātiō), equivalent to Late Latin dēviāt(us) (see deviate) + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
[dee-vee-uh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /ˈdi vi əˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/ (Show IPA),
deviative, adjective
nondeviation, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for deviations
  • We must draw attention here to one of these deviations.
  • The satire naturally has many deviations from history.
  • But it is precisely those anomalous things, those deviations from the expected script, which they won't see.
  • The only tolerated deviations from this orthodoxy are some onion or a bay leaf.
  • Menus are distributed to cooks for a two-week cycle, and deviations aren't tolerated.
  • Artists whose deviations from the norm initially shock others in their discipline often turn out to be throwbacks of a sort.
  • And from that, you can work out the difference out several standard deviations.
  • Using the map, researchers could detect deviations such as epileptic events.
  • It has nothing to do with statistics and standard deviations.
  • But stay a few hours and these supposed deviations become the main event.
British Dictionary definitions for deviations


an act or result of deviating
(statistics) the difference between an observed value in a series of such values and their arithmetic mean
the error of a compass due to local magnetic disturbances
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for deviations



1640s, noun of action from deviate (v.). Statistical sense is from 1858. Related: Deviational.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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deviations in Medicine

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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deviations in Science
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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