Deviation of the line of the vertical
deviation de`vi*a"tion, n. [LL. deviatio: cf. F. d['e]viation.] 1. The act of deviating; a wandering from the way; variation from the common way, from an established rule, etc.; departure, as from the right course or the path of duty. [1913 Webster]

2. The state or result of having deviated; a transgression; an act of sin; an error; an offense. [1913 Webster]

3. (Com.) The voluntary and unnecessary departure of a ship from, or delay in, the regular and usual course of the specific voyage insured, thus releasing the underwriters from their responsibility. [1913 Webster]

4. (Statistics, Physics) the difference between an expected value of an observation or measurement and the actual value. [PJC]

{Deviation of a falling body} (Physics), that deviation from a strictly vertical line of descent which occurs in a body falling freely, in consequence of the rotation of the earth.

{Deviation of the compass}, the angle which the needle of a ship's compass makes with the magnetic meridian by reason of the magnetism of the iron parts of the ship.

{Deviation of the line of the vertical}, the difference between the actual direction of a plumb line and the direction it would have if the earth were a perfect ellipsoid and homogeneous, -- caused by the attraction of a mountain, or irregularities in the earth's density. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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• deviation — de vi*a tion, n. [LL. deviatio: cf. F. d[ e]viation.] 1. The act of deviating; a wandering from the way; variation from the common way, from an established rule, etc.; departure, as from the right course or the path of duty. [1913 Webster] 2. The …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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