[dee-too r, dih-too r]


a roundabout or circuitous way or course, especially one used temporarily when the main route is closed.
an indirect or roundabout procedure, path, etc.

verb (used without object)

to make a detour; go by way of a detour.

verb (used with object)

to cause to make a detour.
to make a detour around: We detoured Birmingham.

Origin of detour

1730–40 < French détour, Old French destor, derivative of destorner to turn aside, equivalent to des- de- + torner to turn Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for detour

Contemporary Examples of detour

Historical Examples of detour

British Dictionary definitions for detour



a deviation from a direct, usually shorter route or course of action


to deviate or cause to deviate from a direct route or course of action

Word Origin for detour

C18: from French détour, from Old French destorner to divert, turn away, from des- de- + torner to turn
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 detour

1738, from French détour, from Old French destor "side road, byway; evasion, excuse," from destorner "turn aside," from des- "aside" + tourner "to turn" (see turn (v.)).


1836 (intransitive); 1905 (transitive), from detour (n.). Related: Detoured; detouring.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper