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 On the next series, middle linebacker Joe Schobert intercepted a Fitzpatrick pass with 5:48 left after the ball deflected off the right hand of tight end Durham Smythe. Nate Ulrich, USA TODAY, "Browns get back to business, scorch Dolphins for win," 25 Nov. 2019 The first was a shot from distance by Robert Screen that deflected off Indiana goalkeeper Roman Celentano, then the right post and back off Celentano again late in the first half. Jeremy Price, Indianapolis Star, "IU soccer freshman Victor Bezerra posts hat trick in NCAA tournament win," 24 Nov. 2019 Their best scoring opportunity came in the first 30 seconds of overtime when a shot in the six-yard box was saved by Wildecats goalkeeper Gabrial Viteri and deflected off the crossbar. Tim Schwartz,, "Touray scores overtime winner, Wilde Lake boys soccer beats C. Milton Wright to win 3A state championship," 16 Nov. 2019 Garoppolo threw a pass that deflected off Kendrick Bourne’s hands to Quandre Diggs, who returned it 44 yards to the 16., "SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Jason Myers kicked a 42-yard field goal after Chase McLaughlin missed a kick earlier in overtime, and the Seattle Seahawks handed the San Francisco 49ers their first loss of the season with a 27-24 victory on Monday night.," 12 Nov. 2019 Garoppolo threw a pass that deflected off Kendrick Bourne’s hands to Quandre Diggs, who returned it 44 yards to the 16. Josh Dubow, The Denver Post, "Seahawks knock 49ers from unbeaten ranks with 27-24 OT win; Emmanuel Sanders injured," 11 Nov. 2019 Leerdam scored Seattle's first goal of this season back in March and claimed the winner when what looked to be a cross deflected off the shin of Toronto's Justin Morrow and past goalkeeper Quentin Westberg. Tim Brown, oregonlive, "Seattle Sounders top Toronto FC 3-1 in MLS Cup, claiming 2nd title in 4 years: Recap," 10 Nov. 2019 Messi lofted a free-kick towards the back post, with Luis Suarez' attempts to knock the ball back into the danger area deflecting off the unlucky Peter Olayinka and into the net., "Slavia Prague 1-2 Barcelona: Report, Ratings & Reaction as La Blaugrana Scrape Lucky Win," 23 Oct. 2019 Sergio Santos’ header deflected off the crossbar and Jack Elliott headed home the rebound for Philadelphia in the 52nd minute. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Picault, Fabián help Union beat Red Bulls 4-3 in extra time," 20 Oct. 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

3 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Deflect.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 14 December 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

What made you want to look up deflect? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to assail by words or arguments

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