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 This causes Awuzie to arrive a tick late to the catch point, which is made worse by his swiping at the ball instead of sticking his hands through the receiver’s hands to deflect the pass. John Owning, Dallas News, "Film room: 3 Cowboys who face sink-or-swim seasons in 2020, including position-switch candidate Chidobe Awuzie," 12 June 2020 This do-it-all helmet has more coverage to deflect off-road debris and low branches, along with excellent air flow, and patented ‘spin’ pads designed to better protect in a crash. Christine Frietchen, Condé Nast Traveler, "9 Best Bike Accessories for Those Who Plan to Ride All Summer," 11 June 2020 Harris did not try to deflect when Christian questioned her about her previous career. Yesha Callahan, Essence, "How ESSENCE Covered The 2020 Presidential Election On The Road," 5 June 2020 Republican senators Thursday mostly tried to deflect questions about Mattis or express sympathy with Trump. Los Angeles Times, "News Analysis: Isolated more than ever, Trump is left in crisis by his own missteps," 4 June 2020 Mr Anies tried to deflect criticism of his handling of the disaster by knocking the central government’s response. The Economist, "Viral marketing Indonesia’s president has a new rival," 4 June 2020 Cuomo has been on the defensive recently, trying to deflect blame for the nursing home crisis in the Empire State. David Hogberg, Washington Examiner, "Andrew Cuomo and Trump face political reckoning for nursing home deaths," 3 June 2020 Sprouse took care to deflect attention away from himself, emphasizing the Black Lives Matter movement and the importance of providing allyship. Maureen Lee Lenker,, "Cole Sprouse says he was among peaceful protesters arrested at Black Lives Matter march," 2 June 2020 For America’s rivals, the tensions have provided an opportunity to deflect attention from their own problems. Benjamin Mueller,, "Global anger grows over a death in Minneapolis," 1 June 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

23 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Deflect.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jul. 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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