A detour is a longer, less direct way to get where you're going. A traffic accident sometimes means you have to take a detour to get home.

When signs direct drivers to take a detour, it's usually because of road work or an emergency that's blocking traffic. You can also detour, or take an unexpected route, while you're running errands, stopping at your favorite bakery for a cookie before you continue on. The French d├ętour comes from the verb destorner, "turn aside."

Definitions of detour

n a roundabout road (especially one that is used temporarily while a main route is blocked)

roundabout way
Type of:
road, route
an open way (generally public) for travel or transportation

v travel via a detour

Type of:
deviate, divert
turn aside; turn away from

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.