[dih-flek-shuh n]


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.
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, de·flex·ion.

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 formsnon·de·flec·tion, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for deflection

Contemporary Examples of deflection

Historical Examples of deflection

  • 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.

  • 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

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 Formsdeflective, 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

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

Medicine definitions for deflection




A turning aside or deviation.
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.