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

In that instance, Bartman, a Cubs fan, reached for and deflected a foul ball at Wrigley Field, disrupting a potential catch by Cubs outfielder Moises Alou. Los Angeles Times, "Column: How Saints fans rallied after losing to Rams in NFC title game," 14 Sep. 2019 Liberty senior lineman Kyle Hutchinson deflected one of Thompson’s passes on fourth down late in the second quarter and the Lions used a 66-yard drive to find the end zone when Kent ran in for an 11-yard score to trim the deficit to 14-7. Megan Woodward,, "Football: Liberty ‘mentally prepared’ for rest of season after Linganore," 10 Sep. 2019 Die Mannschaft dominated possession thereafter, Timo Werner's deflected snapshot bobbling just wide as the crowd held its breath., "Northern Ireland 0-2 Germany: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Visitors Fight to Earn Win," 9 Sep. 2019 Special teams Mark Nzeocha deflected a punt that set up a short field-goal drive, and rookie punter Mitch Wishnowsky’s first NFL punt was a 54-yarder that was covered brilliantly by Emmanuel Moseley, who dropped the returner for no gain. Eric Branch,, "49ers’ game grades," 8 Sep. 2019 Mayde Creek somehow overcame seven of its own penalties on its opening drive, which was extended by a punt deflecting off an Austin player. Jack Marrion, Houston Chronicle, "Elias Cruz's kick lifts Mayde Creek over Fort Bend Austin," 7 Sep. 2019 The Bears’ defense was led by senior cornerback Anthony Mangano, who had two interceptions and three passes deflected. Mark Perlman,, "Lake Zurich tight end Logan Moskal brings ‘tenacity’ to a tough position," 7 Sep. 2019 Upset: These people had known one another for a long time, and Furious had been deflecting the bullying with humor. Amy Dickinson, Washington Post, "Ask Amy: Racist dad seems unlovable to long-suffering child," 27 Aug. 2019 In the 10th, left back Chase Gasper deflected a Gonzalez Pirez cross, and the ball’s rainbow arch was just outside the leaping and stretching reach of goalkeeper Vito Mannone. Andy Greder, Twin Cities, "Minnesota United falls 2-1 to Atlanta in U.S. Open Cup final," 27 Aug. 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

8 Oct 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

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


fear of the number 13

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