di·​gres·​sion dī-ˈgre-shən How to pronounce digression (audio)
: the act or an instance of leaving the main subject in an extended written or verbal expression of thought : the act or an instance of digressing in a discourse or other usually organized literary work
Every place Hamilton, his parents, or his wife visited over a century's time is described at length; everyone he met merits at least a minor biographical digression.Willard Sterne Randall
archaic : a going aside
dī-ˈgresh-nəl How to pronounce digression (audio)
digressionary adjective

Examples of digression in a Sentence

the professor's frequent and extended digressions are the stuff of campus legend
Recent Examples on the Web The romantic digressions are just that: distractions from the carnage. Peter Debruge, Variety, 6 Oct. 2023 The book proposes mysteries, approaches solutions, then swerves into digressions that last for hundreds of pages. Ryan Ruby, The New Yorker, 24 Oct. 2023 In the telescope’s view, there’s something more subtle but no less staggering lurking, too, which can best be introduced via a slight sky-watching digression. Phil Plait, Scientific American, 20 Oct. 2023 Keshavarz uses an incredibly free storytelling style, setting aside the main story for digressions, direct address and the odd dance number. Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times, 20 Oct. 2023 Yet the project likely would have possessed more impact had that thread been followed as more of a direct line, instead of obscuring the focus with all those (admittedly, occasionally fun) digressions and detours. Brian Lowry, CNN, 20 Sep. 2023 This is far from the first time in Worcester’s history that its politics have been contentious, but the City Council, has become well known for its frequent meetings extended by digressions and arguments. Sean Cotter, BostonGlobe.com, 17 Sep. 2023 While Jackson and Sharp are both veterans of the Upright Citizens Brigade, the movie’s master improvisers prove to be Mullally (whom Charles allows to go on long Dadaist digressions) and Lane (who can barely keep a straight face when feeding deli meat to his unconventional pets). Peter Debruge, Variety, 8 Sep. 2023 What follows is what How To always did best: the sort of candid, deeply emotional conversation that made all the series’ digressions and quirkiness feel like part of something more than just a silly parody of how-to videos. Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, 2 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'digression.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


see digress

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of digression was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near digression

Cite this Entry

“Digression.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/digression. Accessed 30 Nov. 2023.

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