Definition of deviant in US English:



  • 1Departing from usual or accepted standards, especially in social or sexual behavior.

    ‘deviant behavior’
    ‘a deviant ideology’
    • ‘In a recent editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine, this author decried the need for government and pharmaceutical industry support for research in the treatment of sexually deviant behavior.’
    • ‘Eddie himself loves telling stories to everyone about the deviant behaviour of all of his family members.’
    • ‘Everybody has them and this research will attempt to determine whether sexual fantasies play a significant role in the occurrence of deviant behaviour of adult males.’
    • ‘Those who indulge in deviant behaviour like smoking, drinking, drug abuse and breaking the law are also more prone to becoming pathological gamblers.’
    • ‘Firstly, it can be argued that advances in technology bring new opportunities for crime and other forms of deviant behaviour.’
    • ‘What is called as deviant behaviour by the majority of the society is so much of a taboo that we do not even acknowledge the existence of it.’
    • ‘This, in turn, reinforces the idea that children who exhibit any kind of sexual behavior are deviant in some way.’
    • ‘As an initiator, it lures the young and old into subcultures such as illicit drug use, and to deviant behaviors such as sexual promiscuity and/or prostitution.’
    • ‘And it's at the core of a breakdown in the society that appears to be irreversible unless and until deviant parents are made legally responsible for the equally deviant behaviour of their children.’
    • ‘Given these contradictory insights from the literature, the issue of deviant behaviour and informal social control in peer - to - peer networks needs more empirical research.’
    • ‘He calls himself ‘a problem drinker, a user and occasional abuser of narcotics, a high school dropout, a pessimist prone to loose women and no stranger to prostitutes and deviant sexual behaviour’.’
    • ‘If we are to achieve a full understanding of deviant behaviour, we must get these two foci of inquiry into balance.’
    • ‘I have a bachelor's in deviant behavior and social control and an A.A.S in human services.’
    • ‘Thomas and Loader, for example, argue that new technology inevitably leads to new forms of deviant behaviour that arise in order to exploit new opportunities.’
    • ‘While there is a culture of revering rebels in the West, rebels, outcasts and deviant behaviour are really frowned upon here.’
    • ‘Positive deviant behaviour is an uncommon practice that confers advantage to the people who practise it compared with the rest of the community.’
    • ‘If most people portray their sexual behavior as conforming to a double standard, then behavior inconsistent with this double standard will appear deviant.’
    • ‘Since deviant behaviour can be associated with the wearing of baseball caps we are politely asking those people who enter our premises not to wear caps.’
    • ‘Since the dangers of passive smoking have been highlighted and smoking is becoming regarded as socially unacceptable, that is, deviant behaviour, many more people are trying to stop, and succeeding.’
    • ‘The current business models, private and public, have largely mismanaged resources, produced a sense of insecurity, and a kind of hopelessness that shows up as deviant behaviour.’
    aberrant, deviating, divergent, abnormal, atypical, untypical, non-typical, anomalous, digressive, irregular, non-standard
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    1. 1.1offensive Homosexual.


  • A deviant person or thing.

    • ‘If government allocates more resources to rekindle that spirit, that sense of responsibility to protect the society from deviants, it would find the returns are much better than expanding the security forces.’
    • ‘If they fill their minds with weird and wonderful activities, with pornography, then it is no wonder that we turn out far too many deviants and perverts in our society.’
    • ‘Arbus was also masterful at capturing the normalness of those that mainstream society branded as deviants or freaks.’
    • ‘Today's deviants have declared war on the society as a whole, so we have no choice but to wage war against them.’
    • ‘Poor people were looked upon as deviants within society well before the 20th century.’
    • ‘Gays who were once considered deviants can now benefit from the security of legally sanctioned marriages.’
    • ‘Strip clubs are not a festering hive of perverts and deviants.’
    • ‘Cricket, in fact, is so pervasive and powerful some non-believers (yes, these deviants also exist) complain that we are a country only of cricket and more cricket.’
    • ‘‘Normal’ travel patterns are discovered, and deviants from that normalcy are subjected to greater scrutiny at the airport.’
    • ‘If you're abnormal, I guess I'm way out there amongst the deviants.’
    • ‘Until recently online dating was considered a taboo and the domain of sexual deviants.’
    • ‘Over a forty-year career as a smut-finder, Comstock boasted the confiscation of fifty tons of books and four million pictures, as well as four thousand arrests and at least 15 moral deviants driven to suicide.’
    • ‘I've worked in institutions where 70 and 80 year old ladies have been incarcerated since they were in their teens because they were a bit promiscuous and society had labelled them deviants.’
    • ‘Child sexual abuse does not only include the acts of a tiny minority of sexual deviants.’
    • ‘Were you saying the behavior is deviant or they're deviants?’
    • ‘They are best understood not as occasional deviants on the peripheries of legal practice, but as experts entrenched at the centre of literary and intellectual culture in the twelfth century.’
    • ‘In this strategy I am thankfully aided by Floyd, who is doubtless the most perverse sexual deviant ever to reside in our fair city of Wellington.’
    • ‘After the Production Code was lifted lesbians and gays began to appear in more films, but generally as perverts, psychopaths, or deviants who were to be pitied.’
    • ‘Emile Durkheim pointed out long ago that even a society of saints would produce its deviants.’
    • ‘Norms use the clubs of stigma and shame to punish deviants, nonconformists, and radicals.’
    nonconformist, eccentric, maverick, individualist, exception, outsider, misfit, fish out of water, square peg in a round hole, round peg in a square hole
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Late Middle English: from late Latin deviant- ‘turning out of the way’, from the verb deviare (see deviate).