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

Synonyms for deflect


divert, redirect, swing, turn, veer, wheel, whip

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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

Biden aides had told reporters the former vice president would aim to deflect any attacks by pivoting to his future vision. Mike Memoli, NBC News, "Biden doesn't let attacks go unchallenged," 28 June 2019 Banicki-Critchlow thinks Buttigieg is using officers as a political pawn to deflect mistakes he's made in handling the police department. Chris Sikich, Indianapolis Star, "'You can't even handle little South Bend': Buttigieg criticized for leaving amid tragedy," 27 June 2019 Six minutes later, Willis got his left hand up just in time to deflect a Chris Wondolowski header from the edge of the 6-yard box. Field Level Media, The Mercury News, "Vako nets two goals to lead Earthquakes past Dynamo 2-0," 26 June 2019 Physical sunscreens contain mineral ingredients—like titanium dioxide or zinc oxide—and sit on top of the skin to deflect and distribute damaging UVA and UVB rays away from the skin. Susan Brickell,, "What Does SPF Stand For? We Asked Dermatologists," 21 June 2019 Although the chance of Bennu directly striking Earth is unlikely, the information from OSIRIS-REx can help scientists understand how to deflect near-Earth asteroids. Michelle Lou, CNN, "NASA's spacecraft is orbiting closer to an asteroid than ever before," 16 June 2019 And the Bruins pounded him in the first and second periods especially, as his limbs flew left, right and upside down to deflect barrage after onslaught. Joan Niesen,, "From Worst to First, Blues Complete the Perfect Comeback With Stanley Cup Win," 13 June 2019 He was forced to deflect a break point for Wawrinka, doing so with a serve-and-volley winner. Howard Fendrich,, "Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are set for another matchup at the French Open," 4 June 2019 The latest goal was set up by Mario Mandzukic, who knocked down a long ball to leave it for Kean to strike in with a long, bouncing shot that appeared to be slightly deflected. Andrew Dampf, The Seattle Times, "Kean keeps up scoring form in Juventus win over Empoli," 30 Mar. 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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Statistics for deflect

Last Updated

2 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for deflect

The first known use of deflect was circa 1555

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on deflect

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with deflect

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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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