[dee-too r, dih-too r]
See more synonyms for detour on
  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.
verb (used without object)
  1. to make a detour; go by way of a detour.
verb (used with object)
  1. to cause to make a detour.
  2. 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. 2018

Examples from the Web for detour

Contemporary Examples of detour

Historical Examples of detour

British Dictionary definitions for detour


  1. a deviation from a direct, usually shorter route or course of action
  1. 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