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 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.
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Recent Examples on the Web Anonymity, Pak said, has proven a useful way to deflect attention from the artist to the art. Kelly Crow, WSJ, "Who Is Pak? The Artist’s Fans Couldn’t Care Less," 21 Apr. 2021 When Notre Dame tried to attack him the same way later in the game, Melifonwu adjusted his technique to stay on top of the receiver, putting himself in prime position to contest and deflect the pass. John Owning, Dallas News, "Film room: 3 cornerbacks the Dallas Cowboys should consider after Round 1 of the 2021 NFL draft," 9 Apr. 2021 Often offered as a concession for market-rate development, affordable housing is leveraged as a tactic to manage rather than prevent displacement, deflect not incorporate community resistance. Tracy Jeanne Rosenthal, The New Republic, "The Enduring Fiction of Affordable Housing," 2 Apr. 2021 Backup forward Lauren Ebo scooted in front of her assignment to deflect a pass, which Lambert scooped up, darting downcourt for a final go-ahead layup. Nick Moyle, San Antonio Express-News, "Texas stuns Maryland to reach Elite Eight," 29 Mar. 2021 On Friday, Weiner spokeswoman Dot Joyce said this latest suit was just another effort by Fish to deflect blame., "In Back Bay condo project gone bad, Fish sues lawyers, too," 26 Mar. 2021 Rossi, 23, deflects praise the same way good goalkeepers deflect shots. Kevin Baxter, Los Angeles Times, "Diego Rossi’s path to Europe still paved with LAFC success," 20 Mar. 2021 In the wake of the Alaska meeting and new sanctions, Chinese officials and state media have escalated their attempts to deflect criticism by highlighting alleged human rights abuses in Western countries. Ben Westcott, CNN, "China has unleashed the nationalist genie. Beijing may regret letting it out of the bottle," 26 Mar. 2021 It’s easiest for influencers to deflect and let the internet’s short attention span latch onto something else. Zoe Haylock, Vulture, "Welcome to the Circus," 2 Mar. 2021

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

7 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Deflect.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for deflect



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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Comments on deflect

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