Simple Definition of digress
: to speak or write about something that is different from the main subject being discussed
Full Definition of digress
: to turn aside especially from the main subject of attention or course of argument
Examples of digress in a sentence
The third visit, the first one after I started the drugs, is shorter, more perfunctory than the first two. Papakostas moves briskly from one question to the next and looks at his watch if we digress. —Gary Greenberg, Harper's, May 2007
Coleridge, of course, who happily called himself a … lover of parentheses, does not bridle himself, but merely produces digressions about how he should not digress. —James Wood, New Republic, 6 Sept. 1999
He had not written too much per se; he had digressed intolerably given the significance of the events under consideration. —Alain de Botton How Proust Can Change Your Life, 1997
He digressed so often that it was hard to follow what he was saying.
If I can digress for a moment, I'd like to briefly mention her earlier films.
But I Digress
The verb digress is often encountered in the phrase “but I digress.” This is an idiomatic expression that has been in use in English for many hundreds of years. Examples may be found as far back as 1653, when Edmund Hall used “but I digress” in his A Scriptural Discourse of the Apostasie and the Antichrist. The phrase is used, often jocularly, by speakers and writers to indicate that they have veered away from the subject that they had been speaking or writing of, and intend to return to it.
Origin and Etymology of digress
Latin digressus, past participle of digredi, from dis- + gradi to step — more at grade
First Known Use: 1529
Synonym Discussion of digress
Rhymes with digress
abscess, access, address, aggress, assess, bench-press, caress, clothespress, coatdress, cold-press, compress, confess, cross-dress, CS, depress, de-stress, distress, drill press, egress, excess, express, finesse, fluoresce, French press, full-dress, handpress, headdress, housedress, idlesse, impress, ingress, Meknes, much less, nightdress, noblesse, no less, obsess, oppress, outguess, possess, precess, prestress, princess, process, profess, progress, recess, redress, regress, re-press, repress, shirtdress, side-dress, SS, success, sundress, suppress, tendresse, top-dress, transgress, undress, unless, web press, winepress, word stress
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up digress? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).