Here are a few definitions for the word: To steer away from the main topic. To take a walk on a path of topic way off from the intended one.


3 Answers 3


I remembered the word while typing the question.



  • 4
    A couple of synonmous idiomatic expressions include: go off on a tangent and get sidetracked.
    – J.R.
    Dec 27, 2015 at 21:29
  • "Digress" is perfect. Other D words: "Diverge" implies that the "Detour" is "unDirected."
    – lauir
    Jan 7, 2016 at 5:07

Some good synonyms are Trail Off and Ramble. – lurker Dec 27 '15 at 21:09

Sometimes trail off can refer to volume, where the speaker doesn't change the subject, but just starts mumbling. – J.R.♦ Dec 27 '15 at 21:31

This may not be exactly what you were looking for, but an idiom for a long, rambling story, with many digressions, that does not really go where the listener was expecting is a shaggy dog story. – stangdon Dec 27 '15 at 23:21



But this usually refers to someone who deliberately joins a discussion because he/she wants to kill the topic.

  • Welcome to English Language Learners! While this may be correct, we like our answers to be backed up by references. You can edit your answer to include one (e.g. an online dictionary). See the Help Center article How to Answer.
    – Glorfindel
    Nov 8, 2020 at 14:17

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .