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 deflect (audio) , dē-​ \ adjective
deflective \ di-​ˈflek-​tiv How to pronounce deflect (audio) , dē-​ \ adjective
deflector \ di-​ˈflek-​tər How to pronounce deflect (audio) , dē-​ \ noun

Synonyms for deflect


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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 the wake of the Alaska meeting and new sanctions, Chinese officials and state media have escalated their attempts to deflect criticism by highlighting alleged human rights abuses in Western countries. Ben Westcott, CNN, "China has unleashed the nationalist genie. Beijing may regret letting it out of the bottle," 26 Mar. 2021 It’s easiest for influencers to deflect and let the internet’s short attention span latch onto something else. Zoe Haylock, Vulture, "Welcome to the Circus," 2 Mar. 2021 With less than four minutes left in Wednesday’s win over the Pacers, Curry weaved past two screens from 6-foot-11, 240-pound Domantas Sabonis to stick with Indiana guard Justin Holiday, deflect his pass and force a turnover. Connor Letourneau, San Francisco Chronicle, "How Warriors' Steph Curry transformed himself into a quality defender," 25 Feb. 2021 In many of Fletcher’s homes, locally grown, clear vertical-grain cedar covered ceilings that extended just far enough past exterior walls to deflect rain and provide shade without blocking natural light. oregonlive, "Midcentury architectural marvel, Portland’s Wedgewood Home of Tomorrow, is for sale at $639,000," 12 Jan. 2021 But in an attempt to deflect from the actual political issues at hand, a third party has been thrust into the hot seat, too: the moderator. Ella Lee, USA TODAY, "Fact check: Post about debate moderator, White House holiday party lacks context," 20 Oct. 2020 The question is a disingenuous attempt to deflect attention from the more profoundly important issues connected to this election. John M. Crisp Tribune News Service (tns), Star Tribune, "Democrats should not answer the court packing question," 12 Oct. 2020 Emily Siegrist, the Democrat running against Knodl, said the new legislation was an attempt by Republicans to deflect from their lack of action on the coronavirus. Patrick Marley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Republicans try to shift attention to civil unrest instead of COVID-19 as cases continue to surge," 9 Oct. 2020 Facebook has already tried to deflect attention from the company’s role in the mayhem and violence. Washington Post, "Lawmakers want answers on the role Google, Facebook and Twitter played in the attacks on the Capitol and viral covid-19 misinformation," 25 Mar. 2021

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

13 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Deflect.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Apr. 2021.

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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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Comments on deflect

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