deflect

The verb deflect describes blocking something or changing its course. Hockey goalies deflect the flying puck with their sticks or blockers, making it travel in a different direction, preferably to a teammate's stick.

In a cartoon, a mouse might ask an approaching cat, "Hey, what's that up in the sky?" When the cat looks up, the mouse runs away, successful in his attempt to deflect the cat's attention. When you deflect, you throw someone or something off course, often by using a distraction. Another way to deflect something — such as criticism — is to blame someone else. Eventually the truth, like the cat who quickly sees there's nothing unusual up in the sky, catches up with those who deflect.

Definitions of deflect
1

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

Synonyms:
bend, turn away
Type of:
turn
change orientation or direction, also in the abstract sense

v turn aside and away from an initial or intended course

Type of:
turn
change orientation or direction, also in the abstract sense

v prevent the occurrence of; prevent from happening

Synonyms:
avert, avoid, debar, fend off, forefend, forfend, head off, obviate, stave off, ward off
Type of:
forbid, foreclose, forestall, preclude, prevent
keep from happening or arising; make impossible

v impede the movement of (an opponent or a ball)

Synonyms:
block, parry
Type of:
fence
fight with fencing swords

v draw someone's attention away from something

“He deflected his competitors”
Synonyms:
distract
Type of:
confuse, disconcert, flurry, put off
cause to feel embarrassment

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