• synonyms


[dee-too r, dih-too r]
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  1. a roundabout or circuitous way or course, especially one used temporarily when the main route is closed.
  2. an indirect or roundabout procedure, path, etc.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to make a detour; go by way of a detour.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to cause to make a detour.
  2. to make a detour around: We detoured Birmingham.
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Origin of detour

1730–40 < French détour, Old French destor, derivative of destorner to turn aside, equivalent to des- de- + torner to turn
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for detour


  1. a deviation from a direct, usually shorter route or course of action
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  1. to deviate or cause to deviate from a direct route or course of action
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Word Origin

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.)).

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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper