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 Unlike Tuesday's hearings, a number of lawmakers seemed to deflect some of the blame for the crashes away from Boeing and onto the planes' pilots, as well as safety standards in other countries. CBS News, "Boeing's CEO faces second day of questioning from lawmakers," 30 Oct. 2019 Sánchez later barely avoided taking a ball to the face, getting his glove in the way just in time to deflect what ended up as a single. Howard Fendrich, The Denver Post, "Altuve, Astros show up in World Series, win Game 3 in DC," 25 Oct. 2019 Still, invoking China and innovation has become a popular way for tech firms to deflect regulatory concerns, especially antitrust. Wired, "How to Watch Mark Zuckerberg’s Libra Testimony in Congress," 22 Oct. 2019 Putting a physical structure here serves a purpose, helping to deflect breezes that otherwise could turn the plaza into a wind tunnel. John King,, "A bit of a jumble, the Warriors’ Chase Center still scores for the fans," 21 Oct. 2019 Their families planted American flags all over their houses and businesses to deflect the glances of anyone who would accuse them of having dual loyalties. Jay Deitcher, Longreads, "To Love and Protect Each Other — From Bigotry," 29 Sep. 2019 But Ellen White picked up her teammate in the 19th minute, slicing between U.S. defenders Abby Dahlkemper and Becky Sauerbrunn to deflect in Beth Mead’s low cross from the left side for her sixth goal of the tournament and tie the score. Kevin Baxter,, "Women’s World Cup: U.S. defeats England with Megan Rapinoe sidelined," 2 July 2019 The final product, a cellular material that flexes, folds on itself and deflects energy away from the head, excelled in their internal tests even with higher level of forces. oregonlive, "WaveCel bursts onto the bike scene, expands into Wilsonville facility," 16 Sep. 2019 Asked to explain how a team that lost so much has still managed to compete at such a high level, Reeve, not surprisingly, tried her best to deflect the attention away from herself. Dane Mizutani, Twin Cities, "Dane Mizutani: Cheryl Reeve should be WNBA Coach of the Year, and it’s not even close," 16 July 2019

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

19 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Deflect.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 21 November 2019.

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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

Comments on deflect

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