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[dih-flek-shuh n] /dɪˈflɛk ʃən/
the act or state of deflecting or the state of being deflected.
amount of deviation.
the deviation of the indicator of an instrument from the position taken as zero.
Optics. deviation (def 5a).
Military. the angle formed by the line of sight to the target and the line of sight to the point at which a gun is aimed so as to strike the target.
Electronics. (in a cathode-ray tube) the bending by a magnetic field of the beam of electrons leaving the electron gun.
Also, British, deflexion.
Origin of deflection
1595-1605; < Late Latin dēflexiōn- (stem of dēflexiō), equivalent to Latin dēflex(us) (past participle of dēflectere; see deflect) + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
nondeflection, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for deflection
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I adjusted my coat controls for warmth and deflection, but that was the best I could do.

  • The deflection of the centers at the crown was a maximum of 3¼ ins.

    Concrete Construction Halbert P. Gillette
  • And they owe their deflection to the presence of large continents.

    The Ocean and its Wonders R.M. Ballantyne
  • If the continuity were broken, no deflection would be observed.

  • We must get a sense of level, of balance, and then we notice a deflection.

    The home Charlotte Perkins Gilman
  • The deflection of the needle will, of course, reverse when the current is reversed.

  • Its readings for elevation and deflection, east count of its scales.

    The Gunner's Examiner Harold E. Cloke
British Dictionary definitions for deflection


the act of deflecting or the state of being deflected
the amount of deviation
the change in direction of a light beam as it crosses a boundary between two media with different refractive indexes
a deviation of the indicator of a measuring instrument from its zero position
the movement of a structure or structural member when subjected to a load
Derived Forms
deflective, adjective
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
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Word Origin and History for deflection

also (and with more etymological propriety) deflexion, c.1600, from Latin deflexionem, noun of action from past participle stem of deflectere (see deflect). Both forms were present 17c., but the spelling with -c- has come to predominate.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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deflection in Medicine

deflection de·flec·tion (dĭ-flěk'shən)

  1. A turning aside or deviation.

  2. The deviation of an indicator in a measuring instrument, such as an electrocardiograph, from zero or from its normal position.

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