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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

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

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

deflectable

play \-ˈflek-tə-bəl\ adjective

deflective

play \-tiv\ adjective

deflector

play \-tər\ noun

Examples of deflect in a sentence

  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.



Did You Know?

Use of the physical meaning of deflect is common. Thus, a soccer goalie's save might involve deflecting the ball rather than catching it, and workers wear eye shields to deflect tiny particles flying out of machines. But the nonphysical meaning may be even more common. A Hollywood actress might deflect criticism about her personal life by giving lavishly to charity, for example, and we've all tried to change the subject to deflect a question we really didn't want to answer.

Origin and Etymology 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 for Students

deflected

deflecting

  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.



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