• (British) IPA: /dʌɪˈɡɹɛʃən/, /dɪˈɡɹɛʃən/
  • (America) IPA: /daɪˈɡɹɛʃən/


  1. An aside, an act of straying from the main subject in speech or writing.
    • c. 1374, Geoffrey Chaucer, Troilus & Criseyde, i, l. 87:
      It were a long disgression
      Fro my matere.
    The lectures included lengthy digressions on topics ranging from the professor's dog to the meaning of life.
  2. (generally uncountable) The act of straying from the main subject in speech or writing, (rhetoric) particularly for rhetorical effect.
    make digression... by way of digression...
  3. (obsolete) A deviancy, a sin or error, an act of straying from the path of righteousness or a general rule.
    • 1517, Stephen Hawes, Pastime of Pleasure, i, ll. 12 ff.:
      More stronger hadde her operacyon
      Than she hath nowe in her dygressyon.
  4. (now rare) A deviation, an act of straying from a path.
    • 1670, Charles Cotton translating Guillaume Girard as History of the Life of the Duke of Espernon, Bk. i, Ch. iv, p. 144:
      By this little digression into Gascony, the Duke had an opportunity... to re-inforce himself with some particular Servants of his.
  5. (astronomy, physics) An elongation, a deflection or deviation from a mean position or expected path.
    • 1646, Thomas Browne, Pseudodoxia Epidemica, Bk. VI, Ch. iv, p. 288:
      This digression [of the Sun] is not equall, but neare the Æquinoxiall intersections, it is right and greater, near the Solstices, more oblique and lesser.
  • (rhetorical device) digressio, ecbole
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