de·​tour | \ ˈdē-ˌtu̇r How to pronounce detour (audio) also di-ˈtu̇r \

Definition of detour

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a deviation from a direct course or the usual procedure especially : a roundabout way temporarily replacing part of a route


detoured; detouring; detours

Definition of detour (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to proceed by a detour detour around road construction

transitive verb

1 : to send by a circuitous route detour traffic around an accident
2 : to avoid by going around : bypass detour an accident site

Examples of detour in a Sentence

Noun After a number of unexpected detours, we finally arrived at our destination. The little restaurant is worth a detour. We had to make a detour around the heaviest traffic. We took a detour from the main streets. The road is closed ahead, so traffic will have to follow the detour. Verb We detoured around the heaviest traffic. A police officer was detouring traffic around the scene of the accident. Traffic will be detoured to 72nd Street. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Drivers are advised to use eastbound Loop 202 to southbound Loop 101 as a detour in the Tempe or Chandler areas. Adam Terro, The Arizona Republic, 22 Apr. 2022 Motorists avoiding traffic on the 5 Freeway often use Crystal Springs Drive as a detour. Rachel Urangastaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 20 Apr. 2022 Transportation officials said Oregon 245 was also closed and should not be used as a detour. oregonlive, 25 Aug. 2021 Imagining your future might always take you on a detour back to the past. Jem Aswad, Variety, 23 Aug. 2021 Imagining your future might always take you on a detour back to the past. Emily Tannenbaum, Glamour, 23 Aug. 2021 Imagining your future might always take you on a detour back to the past. Ellise Shafer,, 18 June 2021 That journey from one neighboring African country to another, via an 18,000 mile detour to the United States, is a parable of Africa’s role in the fast-fashion industry, and Americans’ implication in it. Ryan Lenora Brown, The Christian Science Monitor, 1 Apr. 2022 The stars aligned on the red carpet tonight, as the 94th Academy Awards returned to its decades-long home—the Dolby Theater—after last year’s detour to Union Station. Isabel Lord, Forbes, 28 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Northbound Loop 101 drivers can detour to westbound Loop 202 towards Sky Harbor Airport or downtown Phoenix, and southbound Loop 101 drivers can use westbound Loop 202 to connect to the I-10. Adam Terro, The Arizona Republic, 13 May 2022 To be clear, the idea that the draft dominoes could detour in a way that gives the Bears an opening to go after Olave likely is far-fetched. Dan Wiederer,, 19 Apr. 2022 Don’t miss the chance to spend an afternoon exploring the twisting Deer Creek Narrows, or detour down the rafter’s trail to the river to check out the outlet of the narrows, 80-foot-high Deer Creek Falls. Frederick Reimers, Outside Online, 4 Dec. 2018 Broadway #17 bus will detour to the Steel Bridge during the closures. oregonlive, 31 Mar. 2022 The operations provide a gateway into Europe for Russians who would otherwise have to detour via Turkey or the Persian Gulf. Misha Savic, Fortune, 11 Mar. 2022 The truth is those memories had prompted me to detour miles out of my way to visit the last free-standing Stuckey’s in Virginia. Washington Post, 25 Feb. 2022 The state’s bear population is on the move, and officials are asking residents not to detour the animals with snacks. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 24 Nov. 2021 Eastbound drivers must exit to Red Top Road onto Lopes Road, which will detour back onto the I-80 eastbound on-ramp. For traffic updates, Caltrans advises drivers to visit Ryce Stoughtenborough, San Francisco Chronicle, 23 Nov. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'detour.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of detour


1738, in the meaning defined above


1836, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for detour


French détour, from Old French destor, from destorner to divert, from des- de- + torner to turn — more at turn

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Last Updated

17 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Detour.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for detour


de·​tour | \ ˈdē-ˌtu̇r How to pronounce detour (audio) \

Kids Definition of detour

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a roundabout way that temporarily replaces part of a regular route


detoured; detouring

Kids Definition of detour (Entry 2 of 2)

: to go or make go on a different route than usual All cars were detoured.

More from Merriam-Webster on detour

Nglish: Translation of detour for Spanish Speakers


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