From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



From Latin deflecto, from de- (away) + flecto (to bend).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /dɪˈflɛkt/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɛkt


deflect (third-person singular simple present deflects, present participle deflecting, simple past and past participle deflected)

  1. (transitive) To make (something) deviate from its original path.
  2. (transitive, ball games) To touch the ball, often unwittingly, after a shot or a sharp pass, thereby making it unpredictable for the other players.
    The defender deflected the cross into his own net.
  3. (intransitive) To deviate from its original path.
  4. (transitive, figurative) To avoid addressing (questions, criticism, etc.).
    Synonym: elude
    The Prime Minister deflected some increasingly pointed questions by claiming he had an appointment.
  5. (transitive, figurative) To divert (attention, etc.).
    • 3 January 2013, Luke Harding, Uki Goni, “Argentina urges UK to hand back Falklands and 'end colonialism”, in The Guardian[1]:
      Critics suggest that Fernández, an unashamed populist and nationalist, is seeking to deflect attention from social disharmony at home.

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]