verb de·flect \di-ˈflekt, dē-\

: 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

transitive verb
:  to turn aside especially from a straight course or fixed direction
intransitive verb
:  to turn aside :  deviate
de·flect·able \-ˈflek-tə-bəl\ adjective
de·flec·tive \-tiv\ adjective
de·flec·tor \-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
DEFLECTOR Defined for Kids


verb de·flect \di-ˈflekt\

Definition of DEFLECT for Kids

:  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.


Next Word in the Dictionary: deflectionPrevious Word in the Dictionary: defleaAll Words Near: deflect
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears