verb (used with or without object)

to bend or turn aside; turn from a true course or straight line; swerve.

Origin of deflect

1545–55; < Latin dēflectere to bend down, turn aside, equivalent to dē- de- + flectere to bend, turn
Related formsde·flect·a·ble, adjectivede·flec·tor, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for deflect

Contemporary Examples of deflect

Historical Examples of deflect

  • Since the affair with Piper he had not, however, again offered to deflect a bat.

  • The novel like its style coloured, but did not deflect, the stream of English literature.

    John Lyly

    John Dover Wilson

  • That rebuke of Barber's seemed to deflect Cis's interest from the rooms to herself.

  • A soft answer, if soft enough, will deflect the stroke of the sword of justice.

    Lady Bountiful

    George A. Birmingham

  • It would have taken more time than we had to deflect us enough to avoid a smash.

    Accidental Death

    Peter Baily

British Dictionary definitions for deflect



to turn or cause to turn aside from a course; swerve
Derived Formsdeflector, noun

Word Origin for deflect

C17: from Latin dēflectere, from flectere to bend
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

Word Origin and History for deflect

1550s, from Latin deflectere "to bend (something) aside or downward," from de- "away" (see de-) + flectere "to bend" (see flexible). Originally transitive, the intransitive sense is first recorded 1640s. Related: Deflected; deflecting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper