Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


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

[Middle English deviaunt, from Late Latin dēviāns, dēviant-, present participle of dēviāre, to deviate; see deviate.]

de′vi·ance, de′vi·an·cy n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:


The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


nabweichendes Verhalten, Devianz f
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007
References in periodicals archive ?
"But thei r apparent deviancy is structured and normal for them - they have a community, an identity within that community that they seek to uphold, and a set of social rules to which they adhere."
Aidi said that the amendment was to preserve the purity of Islam in the state and to prevent the spread of deviancy that may threaten harmony.
What explains a lot of what we see today is growing cultural deviancy. Twenty-nine percent of white children, 53% of Hispanic children and 73% of black children are born to unmarried women.
He said, deviancy from set guideline for media is not possible for any government.
The other night a friend recalled the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan's famous essay "Defining deviancy down." He thought it an apt description of what is going on in our country and, of course, he is right.
Robin Boag, defending, argued that a prison term would do nothing to address Markowski's deviancy and it would be a difficult sentence for his client.
It was only in 2001, through the Mental Health Ordinance, that the issue was reframed as a disease, a shift from the colonial-era praxis of treating it as a sign of criminal deviancy. Since devolution, most of the provincial legislatures have passed the MHO.
There is a national tolerance of child sexual abuse that has reached the point where it is normative, a gross perversion of the understanding of deviancy, an inability to separate right from wrong.
As her relationships with Leaf and Mentor progress, May's past traumas in patriarchal China are revealed, while her cultural naivete leads to divergent interpretations of trust, personal boundaries, respect, fetishism, and sexual deviancy. May's life descends into a mad triangle of deception.
Residents are specifically concerned about sexual deviancy and public urination increasing in the area.
I'm all in favour of blowing the lid on their vile behaviour, along with all the Hollywood actors and producers who even manage to make Tory sexual deviancy look like child's play.