Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Differing from a norm or from the accepted standards of a society.
  • n. One that differs from a norm, especially a person whose behavior and attitudes differ from accepted social standards.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Of or pertaining to a deviation; characterized by deviation from an expectation or a social standard.
  • n. A person who deviates, especially from norms of social behavior.
  • n. A thing, phenomenon, or trend that deviates from an expectation or pattern.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Deviating.
  • adj. having behavior or characteristics differing from that which is normal or expected, especially in an undesirable or socially disapproved manner.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Deviating; straying; wandering.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a person whose behavior deviates from what is acceptable especially in sexual behavior
  • adj. markedly different from an accepted norm

Etymologies

Middle English deviaunt, from Late Latin dēviāns, dēviant-, present participle of dēviāre, to deviate; see deviate.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • Late Friday, the military rulers issued a stern warning that they will crack down on what they called "deviant groups," which they blamed for a spike in crime and violence.

    Breaking News: CBS News

  • Last night the military rulers issued a stern warning that they would crack down on what they called "deviant groups", which they blamed for an increase in crime and violence.

    WalesOnline - Home

  • Homosexuals and heterosexuals are both natural people, with no difference between them in humanity, make or nature … The real deviant is the one who is always trying to oust the other.

    Global Voices in English » Arab World: Trouble for Gay Travels in the Muslim World

  • Thus you have a feedback loop in which prejudice against those identifiable as deviant is validated by the very disgust that motivates it, and propagating that prejudice is validated by the pride that results.

    An Open Letter to John C. Wright

  • By accepting diversity we challenge these principles on which the deviant is excluded as abnormal, contaminating.

    Archive 2007-01-01

  • James, well I think that anybody who engages in deviant sex be it women and underage boys or child molesters or homosexuals should be punished for their action.

    Think Progress » VIDEO: Inhofe ‘Very Proud’ There’s Never Been a Homosexual Relationship in the ‘Recorded History of Our Family’

  • P.S. - I set up that foot-tall figure of Pope John Paul II, and it's a tad disconcerting at first to be engaged in deviant sexual practices while he stares blithely on, but then you figure it's cool that he's watching and still just blessing it, and that's pretty cool.

    July 13th, 2006

  • In researching her latest book, "A Strange Stirring: The Feminine Mystique in American Women at the Dawn of the 1960s," Ms. Coontz found that in the past single people were often called "deviant," "neurotic" and "selfish."

    NYT > Home Page

  • In her world Eminem and his ilk are social outcasts and any kind of so-called deviant behavior is confronted.

    Blood Sugar

  • The report by the independent Project on Government Oversight, or POGO, cites complaints from nearly 10 percent of the guards working for the ArmorGroup North America, now owned by Wackenhut Services Inc, the most explosive, charges of what POGO calls deviant hazing and humiliation.

    CNN Transcript Sep 1, 2009

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.