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# standard deviation

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noun Statistics.

a measure of dispersion in a frequency distribution, equal to the square root of the mean of the squares of the deviations from the arithmetic mean of the distribution.

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“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

## Origin of standard deviation

First recorded in 1920–25

## Words nearby standard deviation

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

## How to use standard deviation in a sentence

## British Dictionary definitions for standard deviation

standard deviation

noun

statistics a measure of dispersion obtained by extracting the square root of the mean of the squared deviations of the observed values from their mean in a frequency distribution

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

## Medical definitions for standard deviation

standard deviation

n.

*Symbol*A statistic used as a measure of the dispersion or variation in a distribution, equal to the square root of the arithmetic mean of the squares of the deviations from the arithmetic mean.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

## Scientific definitions for standard deviation

standard deviation

[ stăn′dərd ]

A statistic used as a measure of the dispersion or variation in a distribution, equal to the square root of the arithmetic mean of the squares of the deviations from the arithmetic mean.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

## Cultural definitions for standard deviation

standard deviation

In statistics, a measure of how much the data in a certain collection are scattered around the mean. A low standard deviation means that the data are tightly clustered; a high standard deviation means that they are widely scattered.

## notes for standard deviation

About sixty-eight percent of the data are within one standard deviation of the mean.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.