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verb di·gress \dī-ˈgres, də-\

Simple Definition of digress

  • : to speak or write about something that is different from the main subject being discussed

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of digress

  1. intransitive verb
  2. :  to turn aside especially from the main subject of attention or course of argument

Examples of digress in a sentence

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. He digressed so often that it was hard to follow what he was saying.

  5. If I can digress for a moment, I'd like to briefly mention her earlier films.

Origin of digress

Latin digressus, past participle of digredi, from dis- + gradi to step — more at grade

First Known Use: 1529

Synonym Discussion of digress

swerve, veer, deviate, depart, digress, diverge mean to turn aside from a straight course. swerve may suggest a physical, mental, or moral turning away from a given course, often with abruptness <swerved to avoid hitting the dog>. veer implies a major change in direction <at that point the path veers to the right>. deviate implies a turning from a customary or prescribed course <never deviated from her daily routine>. depart suggests a deviation from a traditional or conventional course or type <occasionally departs from his own guidelines>. digress applies to a departing from the subject of one's discourse <a professor prone to digress>. diverge may equal depart but usually suggests a branching of a main path into two or more leading in different directions <after school their paths diverged>.

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Seen and Heard

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the range of perception or understanding

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