When your essay about French cooking starts describing a childhood trip to Disneyland, it's taken a digression — it's strayed from the main topic.

"But I digress" is a phrase often used by people when they realize they're no longer "on-topic." A digression is like a tangent, only digression often describes speech patterns, whereas tangent comes to us from mathematics. Another trick to remembering the meaning of digression is its relationship to the word progression. A progression is a series of ideas which proceeds in the same direction; a digression, logically enough, is an idea that goes off in another direction.

Definitions of digression
  1. noun
    a message that departs from the main subject
    synonyms: aside, divagation, excursus, parenthesis, tangent
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    type of:
    content, message, subject matter, substance
    what a communication that is about something is about
  2. noun
    a turning aside (of your course or attention or concern)
    “a digression into irrelevant details”
    synonyms: deflection, deflexion, deviation, divagation, diversion
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    red herring
    any diversion intended to distract attention from the main issue
    type of:
    turn, turning
    the act of changing or reversing the direction of the course
  3. noun
    wandering from the main path of a journey
    synonyms: excursion
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    type of:
    journey, journeying
    the act of traveling from one place to another
Word Family

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