A deviant is someone whose behavior falls far outside of society's norms; as an adjective, deviant can describe the behavior itself. For example, a fifty-year-old punk rocker has a deviant appearance, compared to his peers.

That aging punk deviates, or departs from the norm, of people his age. Both deviant and deviate come from the Latin word deviare, meaning "to turn out of the way." Deviants experience this turning away from society, either by choice, or in the case of someone who has harmed another, perhaps by sexual abuse, by being cast out by people who want nothing to do with them.

Definitions of deviant
  1. noun
    a person whose behavior deviates from what is acceptable especially in sexual behavior
    synonyms: degenerate, deviate, pervert
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    one who engages in fetishism (especially of a sexual nature)
    someone who obtains pleasure from receiving punishment
    nympho, nymphomaniac
    a woman with abnormal sexual desires
    child molester, paederast, pederast
    a man who has sex (usually sodomy) with a boy as the passive partner
    paedophile, pedophile
    an adult who is sexually attracted to children
    someone who obtains pleasure from inflicting pain on others
    someone who enjoys both sadism and masochism
    lech, lecher, letch, satyr
    man with strong sexual desires
    a person who is whipped or whips himself for sexual gratification
    type of:
    miscreant, reprobate
    a person without moral scruples
  2. adjective
    markedly different from an accepted norm
    deviant ideas”
    synonyms: aberrant, deviate
    abnormal, unnatural
    not normal; not typical or usual or regular or conforming to a norm
DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘deviant'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
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