de·​flect | \ di-ˈflekt How to pronounce deflect (audio) , dē- \
deflected; deflecting; deflects

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

Other Words from deflect

deflectable \ di-​ˈflek-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce deflect (audio) , dē-​ \ adjective
deflective \ di-​ˈflek-​tiv How to pronounce deflect (audio) , dē-​ \ adjective
deflector \ di-​ˈflek-​tər How to pronounce deflect (audio) , dē-​ \ noun

Synonyms for deflect


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Examples of deflect in a Sentence

armor that can deflect bullets The goalie deflected the ball with his hands. The ball deflected off the goalie's shoulder. They are trying to deflect attention from the troubled economy. The blame was deflected from the chairman.
Recent Examples on the Web The oil-free sunscreen uses SolarSmart technology along with active skin-protectant ingredients like five percent of zinc to deflect UV rays away from the skin. Nicol Natale,, 21 July 2022 When The Closer premiered in November 2021, many called out its content for homophobia and transphobia, which Chappelle attempted to deflect by invoking the name of his late friend Daphne Dorman, a trans comedian. Whitney Perry, Glamour, 12 July 2022 What about Johnson’s attempts to deflect critics accusing him of being soft on communism? Michael Bobelian, Washington Post, 1 July 2022 In these situations, the spokesperson can use a bridging technique to deflect the line of inquiry honestly and simply. Marie Swift, Forbes, 29 June 2022 That ability to deflect, to find humor in complicated experience, indicates not a lack of depth but a self-knowing soul. David Remnick, The New Yorker, 27 June 2022 New designs get tested within the Wall of Wind facility, whether with technology designed to diffuse the wind’s power or shapes meant to deflect wind forces. Tim Newcomb, Popular Mechanics, 23 June 2022 Though the Roosevelt administration did, late in the war, finally move to help, officials argued for a long time that such action would deflect them from their central goal of defeating Adolf Hitler. Ned Temko, The Christian Science Monitor, 22 June 2022 Though the subtext of the lines is about desire, with the patter meant to deflect their quickly awakening old attraction, the question is real. Adam Gopnik, Town & Country, 17 June 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of deflect

circa 1555, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for deflect

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

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Time Traveler for deflect

Time Traveler

The first known use of deflect was circa 1555

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Statistics for deflect

Last Updated

30 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Deflect.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for deflect


de·​flect | \ di-ˈflekt How to pronounce deflect (audio) \
deflected; deflecting

Kids Definition of deflect

: to change or cause to change direction The goalie deflected the puck.

More from Merriam-Webster on deflect

Nglish: Translation of deflect for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of deflect for Arabic Speakers


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