What does deflect mean?

Definitions for deflect

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word deflect.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. debar, forefend, forfend, obviate, deflect, avert, head off, stave off, fend off, avoid, ward offverb

    prevent the occurrence of; prevent from happening

    "Let's avoid a confrontation"; "head off a confrontation"; "avert a strike"

  2. deflect, bend, turn awayverb

    turn from a straight course, fixed direction, or line of interest

  3. deflectverb

    turn aside and away from an initial or intended course

  4. distract, deflectverb

    draw someone's attention away from something

    "The thief distracted the bystanders"; "He deflected his competitors"

  5. parry, block, deflectverb

    impede the movement of (an opponent or a ball)

    "block an attack"


  1. deflectverb

    To cause to turn aside; to bend; as, rays of light are often deflected; to deflect a punch; to deflect criticism by acknowledging a mistake.


  1. deflectverb

    To make (something) deviate from its original path.

  2. deflectverb

    To deviate from its original path.

  3. deflectverb

    To knock aside.

    The Prime Minister deflected some increasingly pointed questions by claiming he had an appointment.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. To DEFLECTverb

    To turn aside; to deviate from a true course, or right line.

    Etymology: deflecto, Latin.

    At some parts of the Azores the needle deflecteth not, but lieth in the true meridian: on the other side of the Azores, and this side of the Equator, the North point of the needle wheeleth to the West. Thomas Browne, Vulgar Errours.

    Arising beyond the Equator, it maketh northward almost fifteen degrees; and deflecting after westward, without meanders, continueth a strait course about forty degrees. Brown.

    For did not some from a strait course deflect,
    They could not meet, they could no world erect. Richard Blackmore.


  1. deflect

    Deflect generally means to cause something to change direction by interposing something; to turn aside from a straight course. It can also refer to the act of preventing something from happening or drawing attention away from an unfavorable situation. Deflect is commonly used in physical, psychological or conversational contexts.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Deflectverb

    to cause to turn aside; to bend; as, rays of light are often deflected

  2. Deflectverb

    to turn aside; to deviate from a right or a horizontal line, or from a proper position, course or direction; to swerve

  3. Etymology: [L. deflectere; de- + flectere to bend or turn. See Flexible.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Deflect

    de-flekt′, v.i. or v.t. to turn aside: to swerve or deviate from a right line or proper course.—p.adj. Deflect′ed (bot.), bent abruptly downward.—ns. Deflec′tion, Deflex′ion, deviation.—adj. Deflec′tive, causing deflection.—n. Deflec′tor, a diaphragm in a lamp, stove, &c., by which the flame and gases are brought together and the combustion improved.—v.t. Deflex′ (zool., bot.), to bend down.—adj. Deflexed′.—n. Deflex′ure, deviation. [L. de, from, and flectĕre, flexum, to bend, turn.]

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  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of deflect in Chaldean Numerology is: 5

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of deflect in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of deflect in a Sentence

  1. James Vernon:

    I tried to talk to him. I tried to settle him down, i didn’t, but I did deflect his attention.

  2. Kevin Roach:

    As the EPA has taken responsibility for the discharge it is unfortunate that Mr. Hennis, whose company owns the Gold King mine, is trying to deflect responsibility from what has clearly been the location of the incident, which is Gold King mine.

  3. RJ Intindola:

    When in love, the heart will deflect any sense of reasoning offered by the brain.

  4. China Construction America:

    Baha Mar Ltd continues to spread false and misleading allegations in an effort to deflect attention away from its mismanagement of the Baha Mar resort project.

  5. Shiraz Maher:

    I think this is an attempt to deflect attention from Jihadi John, they're trying to lay the blame for this at the feet of the British government.

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Translations for deflect

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"deflect." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 30 Nov. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/deflect>.

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    a state of being carried away by overwhelming emotion
    • A. investigating
    • B. witness
    • C. match
    • D. rapture

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