[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 digressing

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

Examples from the Web for digressing

Historical Examples of digressing

  • But here I am digressing again, when I should be getting on with my story.

    The Van Dwellers

    Albert Bigelow Paine

  • But we are digressing, again, as who does not when the image of Shakespeare comes across him?

    The Book of Christmas

    Thomas K. Hervey

  • But all this is digressing most fearfully from the nursery of young pointers and setters.

    The Dog

    Dinks, Mayhew, and Hutchinson

  • We are, however, digressing, but must add one further remark.


    E. V. Zenker

  • However, I am digressing, as a man with a grievance always does.

    Man And Superman

    George Bernard Shaw

British Dictionary definitions for digressing


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 digressing



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