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

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Other Words from deflect

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

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web Montreal forward Romell Quioto headed in the tying goal at the back post after it was deflected his way in the 37th minute. Hayden Bird,, "Montreal Impact get drop on New England Revolution in MLS season opener," 29 Feb. 2020 The ball was deflected off the backboard right to Tillman, who caught it in midair, but his uncontested layup rolled off the rim for a 67-63 loss to the Hoosiers, their third straight win over MSU. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan State rallies, but Xavier Tillman's late layup rims off in 67-63 loss at Indiana," 24 Jan. 2020 The Bison faced a fourth down from the nine-yard line when quarterback Benefield’s pass was deflected, but Green was able to secure the catch and make his way into the end zone to tie the score at 20-20. Emmett Hall,, "MTI Bison conclude inaugural season with national championship," 12 Dec. 2019 Outrage as Trump calls coronavirus 'Chinese Virus' Some accuse the US president of trying to deflect critics from his slow response to the outbreak. NBC News, "Politicians, journalists, celebrities call out racist remarks against Asians," 19 Mar. 2020 Many politicians tried to deflect blame for the decision to hike petrol prices, but Mr Khamenei shut them down by publicly backing the move on November 17th. The Economist, "Hikes in the cost of petrol are fuelling unrest in Iran," 17 Nov. 2019 Steve Cohen, Democrat of Tennessee, hammered the CEO, who tried to deflect the question. CBS News, "Boeing's CEO faces second day of questioning from lawmakers," 30 Oct. 2019 The running back was able to get both hands on it, but only to deflect the pass to Wright. Scott Patsko, cleveland, "What’s the story with Baker Mayfield’s 11 interceptions this season?," 22 Oct. 2019 The President, deflecting blame for his own handling of the pandemic, accused the WHO of mismanaging the spread of the coronavirus. Eliza Mackintosh, CNN, "What you need to know about coronavirus on Wednesday, April 15," 15 Apr. 2020

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.

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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

20 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Deflect.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for deflect


How to pronounce deflect (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of deflect

: 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


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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on deflect

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for deflect

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with deflect

Spanish Central: Translation of deflect

Nglish: Translation of deflect for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of deflect for Arabic Speakers

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