1630s, "turn aside or wander from the (right) way," from Late Latin deviatus, past participle of deviare "to turn aside, turn out of the way," from Latin phrase de via, from de "off" (see de-) + via "way" (see via). Meaning "take a different course, diverge, differ" is from 1690s. Related: Deviated; deviating. The noun meaning "sexual pervert" is attested from 1912.
updated on August 08, 2018