di·​gres·​sion | \ dī-ˈgre-shən How to pronounce digression (audio) , də- \

Definition of digression

1 : 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
2 archaic : a going aside

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Other Words from digression

digressional \ dī-​ˈgresh-​nəl How to pronounce digressional (audio) , də-​ , -​ə-​nᵊl \ adjective
digressionary \ dī-​ˈgre-​shə-​ˌner-​ē How to pronounce digressionary (audio) , də-​ \ 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 In previous versions, the chapter on Socrates had included a sudden digression into petty misogyny. Andrew Marantz, The New Yorker, "The Dark Side of Techno-Utopianism," 23 Sep. 2019 What would happen to him then is anyone’s guess, but further digressions from the law will only reinforce the impression that this government has gone rogue. Andy Knott, Quartz, "Boris Johnson’s flirtation with populism will have lasting consequences for the UK," 4 Oct. 2019 Biden made a number of verbal missteps during the campaign swing, including declaring his affection for Vermont while describing a stop in New Hampshire and an odd digression about how the country might have reacted to an assassination of then-Sen. Seema Mehta, Los Angeles Times, "The promise and peril of Joe Biden’s front-runner campaign," 26 Aug. 2019 Posner axes an act and boils the cast down to seven, a choice commented on by actors in one of many chatty digressions with the audience. Andrea Simakis, cleveland.com, "Dobama Theatre opens 60th season with ‘Stupid (Bleeping) Bird,’ a meta fine sendup of Chekhov’s ‘The Seagull’," 13 Sep. 2019 Freedman focuses on a digression in the text concerning land confiscated by Romans from Jews during the First Jewish-Roman War, which ultimately led to the destruction of the Second Temple. Josefin Dolsten, sun-sentinel.com, "There’s a lot you can learn about the Talmud from kung fu movies, according to a new play," 5 Sep. 2019 The two narratives begin all tangled up, alternating paragraphs, before separating out into chapter-long digressions about the two heroes’ lives. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "Téa Obreht Considers the Camel," 28 Aug. 2019 There were no digressions, no temporary losses of focus. Jason Gay, WSJ, "Serena Williams Rocks, Then Rolls at Wimbledon," 11 July 2019 John Lanchester has a wide-ranging recounting of the history of money, filled with plenty of interesting digressions, in The New Yorker. Adam Lashinsky, Fortune, "How Target Used Less Tech to Succeed—Data Sheet," 22 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'digression.' 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 digression

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for digression

see digress

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Time Traveler for digression

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

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Statistics for digression

Last Updated

30 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Digression.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/digressions. Accessed 17 January 2020.

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More from Merriam-Webster on digression

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for digression

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with digression

Spanish Central: Translation of digression

Nglish: Translation of digression for Spanish Speakers

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