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Late Latin deviatus, past participle of deviare, from the phrase de via.


  • enPR: dē'vēāt, IPA(key): /ˈdiːvieɪt/
  • (file)


deviate (plural deviates)

  1. (sociology) A person with deviant behaviour; a deviant, degenerate or pervert.
    Synonyms: deviant, degenerate, pervert
    • 1915: James Cornelius Wilson, A Handbook of medical diagnosis [1]
      ...Walton has suggested that it is desirable "to name the phenomena signs of deviation, and call their possessors deviates or a deviate as the case may be...
    • 1959: Leon Festinger, Stanley Schachter, Kurt W. Back, Social Pressures in Informal Groups: A Study of Human Factors in Housing [2]
      Under these conditions the person who appears as a deviate is a deviate only because we have chosen, somewhat arbitrarily, to call him a member of the court ...
    • 2001: Rupert Brown, Group Processes [3]
      ...The second confederate was also to be a deviate initially...
  2. (statistics) A value equal to the difference between a measured variable factor and a fixed or algorithmic reference value.
    • 1928: Karl J. Holzinger, Statistical Methods for Students in Education [4]
      It will be noted that for a deviate x = 1.5, the ordinate z will have the value .130...
    • 2001: Sanjeev B. Sarmukaddam, Indrayan Indrayan, Abhaya Indrayan, Medical Biostatistics [5]
      This difference is called a deviate. When a deviate is divided by its SD a, it is called a relative deviate or a standard deviate.
    • 2005: Michael J. Crawley, Statistics: An Introduction Using R [6]
      This is a deviate so the appropriate function is qt. We need to supply it with the probability (in this case p = 0.975) and the degrees of freedom...


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deviate (third-person singular simple present deviates, present participle deviating, simple past and past participle deviated)

  1. (intransitive) To go off course from; to change course; to change plans.
    • 1749, Henry Fielding, The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling:
      These two circumstances, however, happening both unfortunately to intervene, our travellers deviated into a much less frequented track; and after riding full six miles, instead of arriving at the stately spires of Coventry, they found themselves still in a very dirty lane, where they saw no symptoms of approaching the suburbs of a large city.
    • 1709, [Alexander Pope], An Essay on Criticism, London: [] W. Lewis [], published 1711, OCLC 15810849:
      Thus Pegasus, a nearer way to take, / May boldly deviate from the common track.
  2. (intransitive, figuratively) To fall outside of, or part from, some norm; to stray.
    His exhibition of nude paintings deviated from the norm.
    • 2021 February 9, “The double-edged sword of movie stardom remains the same as it ever was: when a persona is so fixed in the public mind, it's what people love you for, and it becomes difficult to deviate from.”, in BBC[7]:
  3. (transitive) To cause to diverge.



Related terms[edit]




  1. second-person plural present present subjunctive/imperative of deviare





  1. second-person plural present active imperative of dēviō