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See more synonyms for deflect on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with or without object)
  1. to bend or turn aside; turn from a true course or straight line; swerve.
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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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for deflect

swerve, avert, veer, ricochet, hook, bend, slip, pivot, divert, whip, wheel, whirl, sheer, fend, shy, curve, diverge, slew, twist, disperse

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


  1. to turn or cause to turn aside from a course; swerve
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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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper