Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

deflect

play
verb de·flect \di-ˈflekt, dē-\

Simple Definition of deflect

  • : to cause (something that is moving) to change direction

  • : to hit something and suddenly change direction

  • : to keep (something, such as a question) from affecting or being directed at a person or thing

Full Definition of deflect

  1. transitive verb
  2. :  to turn aside especially from a straight course or fixed direction

  3. intransitive verb
  4. :  to turn aside :  deviate

de·flect·able play \-ˈflek-tə-bəl\ adjective
de·flec·tive play \-tiv\ adjective
de·flec·tor play \-tər\ noun

Examples of deflect

  1. armor that can deflect bullets

  2. The goalie deflected the ball with his hands.

  3. The ball deflected off the goalie's shoulder.

  4. They are trying to deflect attention from the troubled economy.

  5. The blame was deflected from the chairman.



Origin of deflect

Latin deflectere to bend down, turn aside, from de- + flectere to bend


First Known Use: circa 1555


DEFLECT Defined for Kids

deflect

play
verb de·flect \di-ˈflekt\

Definition of deflect

de·flect·edde·flect·ing

  1. :  to change or cause to change direction <The goalie deflected the puck.>



Word Root of deflect

The Latin word flectere, meaning “to bend” or “to curve,” and its form flexus give us the roots flect and flex. Words from the Latin flectere have something to do with bending or curving. To flex is to cause something, such as a muscle, to curve or bend. Something flexible can be bent without breaking. To deflect, or turn aside, is to bend the direction of something. To reflect is to bend an image back to the person looking at a mirror or other shiny surface.



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up deflect? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 6, 2016

an official order, decree, or edict

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

pince-nez duvet kittly-benders spindrift
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ