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standard deviation

noun, Statistics.
1.
a measure of dispersion in a frequency distribution, equal to the square root of the mean of the squares of the deviations from the arithmetic mean of the distribution.
Origin
1920-1925
1920-25
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for standard-deviation

standard deviation

noun
1.
(statistics) a measure of dispersion obtained by extracting the square root of the mean of the squared deviations of the observed values from their mean in a frequency distribution
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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standard-deviation in Medicine

standard deviation n.
Symbol σ
A statistic used as a measure of the dispersion or variation in a distribution, equal to the square root of the arithmetic mean of the squares of the deviations from the arithmetic mean.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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standard-deviation in Science
standard deviation
  (stān'dərd)   
A statistic used as a measure of the dispersion or variation in a distribution, equal to the square root of the arithmetic mean of the squares of the deviations from the arithmetic mean.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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standard-deviation in Culture

standard deviation definition


In statistics, a measure of how much the data in a certain collection are scattered around the mean. A low standard deviation means that the data are tightly clustered; a high standard deviation means that they are widely scattered.

Note: About sixty-eight percent of the data are within one standard deviation of the mean.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for standard-deviation

standard deviation

in statistics, a measure of the variability (dispersion or spread) of any set of numerical values about their arithmetic mean (average; denoted by mu). It is specifically defined as the positive square root of the variance (sigma2); in symbols, sigma2=Sigma(xImu)2/n, where Sigma is a compact notation used to indicate that as the index (I) changes from 1 to n (the number of elements in the data set), the square of the difference between each element xI and the mean, divided by n, is calculated and these values are added together.

Learn more about standard deviation with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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