[dih-gres, dahy-]

verb (used without object)

to deviate or wander away from the main topic or purpose in speaking or writing; depart from the principal line of argument, plot, study, etc.
Archaic. to turn aside.

Origin of digress

1520–30; < Latin dīgressus, past participle of dīgredī “to go off, depart, digress,” equivalent to dī- di-2 + -gredī, combining form of gradī “to go”; cf. grade
Related formsdi·gress·er, noundi·gress·ing·ly, adverbre·di·gress, verb (used without object)
Can be confuseddigress diverge

Synonyms for digress

Synonym study

1. See deviate.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for digress

meander, swerve, depart, ramble, veer, drift, divagate, roam, wander

Examples from the Web for digress

Contemporary Examples of digress

  • But I digress, enough with the “man who wears two masks” nonsense, as if Banville must justify writing mystery novels.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Can Pulp Win the Booker?

    Allen Barra

    September 7, 2011

Historical Examples of digress

  • Anthony Despeisses was a lawyer who used frequently to digress.

  • I will digress a bit and explain how these stone-quarries were discovered.

  • Just here let me digress a moment to erect a warning signboard.

    How to Cook Husbands

    Elizabeth Strong Worthington

  • This is a digression I grant, but I cannot help it; it is the nature of man to digress.

    Newton Forster

    Captain Frederick Marryat

  • Let us digress and note the happy return of this man to English soil.

    Old Taverns of New York

    William Harrison Bayles

British Dictionary definitions for digress


verb (intr)

to depart from the main subject in speech or writing
to wander from one's path or main direction
Derived Formsdigresser, noun

Word Origin for digress

C16: from Latin dīgressus turned aside, from dīgredī, from dis- apart + gradī to go
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 digress

1520s, from Latin digressus, past participle of digredi "to go aside, depart" (see digression), or perhaps a back-formation from digression. Related: Digressed; digressing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper