Definition of digress in English:



  • Leave the main subject temporarily in speech or writing.

    ‘I have digressed a little from my original plan’
    • ‘I'm digressing but the point is it wasn't hard to imagine a member of my family being a criminal; I was kind of getting used to it.’
    • ‘However, I am digressing from the main point that I am trying to put across in this letter, which is the attitude of most Namibians when it comes to criticism.’
    • ‘Another brave step, though it might seem very trivial is that he has avoided digressing from the singular plot by not invoking songs and other kitsch trappings.’
    • ‘I know I digressed from the subject of the article.’
    • ‘They loved him even more when he digressed from his prepared speech to intervene in domestic British politics.’
    • ‘Still, this is digressing from our main point of concern.’
    • ‘Though he has occasionally digressed, the 19th century - which embraces the ages of revolution, capital and empire - is ‘his period’.’
    • ‘But I'm digressing, this post is all about the music, not my brain rotting youth.’
    • ‘But we are digressing from a totally pointless and inane post here.’
    • ‘But after that, it drags and detours, dawdles and digresses - to the Hague; to Sarajevo, inevitably; to the south of Italy.’
    • ‘It digresses into long corridors of thought, quiet corners of droll humour.’
    • ‘Wow, I have digressed so far even I can't remember what this was about.’
    • ‘It frequently digresses into philosophical rants, or into imagined discussions between the author and his younger brother, where the young boy is able to speak like a particularly eloquent adult.’
    • ‘Moreover, she approaches subjects indirectly, digressing frequently on peripheral topics and only slowly coming to the point.’
    • ‘But I'm digressing, and meandering, and I apologise, unless you like that kind of thing, which I do when others do it, but I understand if you don't.’
    • ‘And then it digressed into unprintable scenarios.’
    • ‘But no, she digresses into a long dissertation on gun control and abortion, veritably begging the Democrats to adopt the position of the Republican Party.’
    • ‘The enthusiasm with which he talks about dingoes wanes as he digresses further into his history: British uranium mining and nuclear testing on Aboriginal land.’
    • ‘Like any good curator, of course, he digresses, pausing to impart a bit of gossip or whimsy, spicing the historically significant with the genuinely weird.’
    • ‘Any argument about its fate that digresses from this fact threatens to dissolve into the putrid river of disingenuous excuses the administration keeps spewing forth to drown the truth.’
    deviate, go off at a tangent, diverge, turn aside, turn away, depart, drift, stray, ramble, wander, meander, maunder
    View synonyms


Early 16th century: from Latin digress- ‘stepped away’, from the verb digredi, from di- ‘aside’ + gradi ‘to walk’.