deflect

verb de·flect \ di-ˈflekt , dē- \
Updated on: 4 Dec 2017

Definition of deflect

transitive verb
: to turn (something) aside especially from a straight course or fixed direction
  • armor that deflects bullets
  • deflecting attention from the troubled economy
  • deflect a question
intransitive verb
: to turn aside : deviate
  • the shot deflected off the goalie's shoulder pad

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.

Recent Examples of deflect from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'deflect.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of deflect

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

DEFLECT Defined for English Language Learners

deflect

verb

Definition of deflect for English Language Learners

  • : 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


DEFLECT Defined for Kids

deflect

verb de·flect \ di-ˈflekt \

Definition of deflect for Students

deflected; deflecting
: 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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of very fine texture or delicate form

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