di·gres·sion | \-ˈgre-shən \

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 \-ˈgresh-nəl, -ə-nᵊl \ adjective
digressionary \-ˈgre-shə-ˌner-ē \ adjective

Synonyms for digression


aside, excursion, tangent

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Examples of digression in a Sentence

the professor's frequent and extended digressions are the stuff of campus legend

Recent Examples on the Web

These other topics are to some extent a digression from the main topic of cyberwarfare. Paul R. Pillar, New York Times, "Cyberwarfare — the Latest Technology of Destruction," 19 June 2018 Along the way, we are treated to wonderful digressions into the lives of 20th century artists. Kathleen Hirsch, BostonGlobe.com, "A portrait of the artist as an older woman," 29 June 2018 This historical digression proved to be a prophetic guide to an as-yet-unimaginable future Trump presidency. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "The Genesis of Trump’s Family-Separation Policy," 22 June 2018 The minor key digressions of the third movement are early examples of Mozart whistling in the graveyard. Christian Hertzog, sandiegouniontribune.com, "A rare, fiery performance of a Rebel ballet kicks off Mainly Mozart Festival," 10 June 2018 And yet many times when a real scene is put on stage for us to witness, it is interrupted by a long, intensely detailed digression. Annika Neklason, The Atlantic, "‘The Trust of the Reader Is Distrusted by Roth’," 24 May 2018 Beyond Earth Age of Wonders: Planetfall is an interesting digression. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "PdxCon 2018: Paradox reveals Imperator Rome, Age of Wonders: Planetfall, and board games," 19 May 2018 And the digressions and family chatter that the songs prompt help fill the time, since U.S. 77 has a lot of road and not a whole lot to look at. Jack Dickey, SI.com, "How Charley Pride Went From Negro League Ballplayer to Country Music's Jackie Robinson," 21 Mar. 2018 David Marchese follows up on each fantastic digression in an interview with the world’s most virtuosic octogenarian. Longreads, "The Top 5 Longreads of the Week," 10 Feb. 2018

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

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