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Digress   /daɪgrˈɛs/   Listen
Digress

verb
(past & past part. digressed; pres. part. digressing)
1.
Lose clarity or turn aside especially from the main subject of attention or course of argument in writing, thinking, or speaking.  Synonyms: divagate, stray, wander.  "Her mind wanders" , "Don't digress when you give a lecture"
2.
Wander from a direct or straight course.  Synonyms: depart, sidetrack, straggle.



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"Digress" Quotes from Famous Books



... have to digress a little to give you the history of the name. Every effect has a cause you know, and after I got old enough to reason things out, I wondered too why my name was Gullins, so I did some investigating and the story ...
— Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States - Volume II. Arkansas Narratives. Part I • Work Projects Administration

... notes dealing with the second phase of Dr. Fu-Manchu's activities in England, I find that one of the worst hours of my life was associated with the singular and seemingly inconsequent adventure of the fiery hand. I shall deal with it in this place, begging you to bear with me if I seem to digress. ...
— The Return of Dr. Fu-Manchu • Sax Rohmer

... other practitioners within my knowledge, and probably from the same incautious method of securing the variolous matter, I avail myself of this opportunity of mentioning what I conceive to be of great importance; and, as a further cautionary hint, I shall again digress so far as to add another observation ...
— The Harvard Classics Volume 38 - Scientific Papers (Physiology, Medicine, Surgery, Geology) • Various

... to be upon Thorns at this and the like impertinent Digressions, but let him alone and he'll come to himself; at which time I think fit to acquaint him, that when I digress, I am at that time writing to please my self, when I continue the Thread of the Story, I write to please him; supposing him a reasonable Man, I conclude him satisfied to allow me this liberty, ...
— Incognita - or, Love & Duty Reconcil'd. A Novel • William Congreve

... be pardoned, he is willing to hope, by the kind reader, if he digress in one or two paragraphs in this part of his work, purposely to expose the great wickedness of prognostication and fortune-telling; as the whole is not only unsound, foolish, absurd and false, but is most peremptorily forbidden ...
— The Gipsies' Advocate - or, Observations on the Origin, Character, Manners, and Habits of - The English Gipsies • James Crabb

... and achievements of this gallant troop of horse. It is not the intention of the present chronicler to digress. Suffice to say, the expedition moved sturdily westward and northward for five or six days without encountering a single Indian. Then they were ordered to return home. There were two casualties. One man ...
— Viola Gwyn • George Barr McCutcheon

... digress for a moment to deal with the argument advanced in the latter part of this sentence. It is very plausible, and, at first sight, appears convincing. It is also very commonly used. Over and over again, I have heard the ...
— Political and Literary essays, 1908-1913 • Evelyn Baring

... sometimes spend their wages among wives and daughters, sisters, mothers, aunts, and grandmothers; and the play is, really, not ALL Wolf and Red Riding-Hood, but has other parts in it." However, I digress. ...
— The Signal-Man #33 • Charles Dickens

... Bay Roosevelt had instituted "hiking." He and the young people and such of the neighbors as chose would start from Sagamore Hill and walk in a bee-line to a point four or five miles off. The rule was that no natural impediment should cause them to digress or to stop. So they went through the fields and over the fences, across ditches and pools, and even clambered up and down a haystack, if one happened to be in the way, or through a barnyard. Of course they often reached home spattered ...
— Theodore Roosevelt; An Intimate Biography, • William Roscoe Thayer

... This done, he sought the telegraph office and sent three more cablegrams, the concise wording of which he had carefully evolved on the way up from Southampton. These do not come into the story,—which may digress, however, so far as to tell that on receipt of one of them, the Vice-President of the Hands Across Central New York Office remarked to his secretary 'that the old warrior was losing no time. Leisure and ozone would appear to have ...
— Corporal Sam and Other Stories • A. T. Quiller-Couch

... rule of directness to the introduction of new characters in the scenes that follow. There is one main theme, one main line of development, in every well constructed story—and only one. See to it that you do not digress from it except as you bring up from the rear other essential parts of the action. There is absolutely no place in the photoplay for ...
— Writing the Photoplay • J. Berg Esenwein and Arthur Leeds

... world never fully appreciates the struggles of those who are fat—the efforts at starvation, the detested exercise, the long, miserable walks. Well has one of our greatest poets written, "Take up the fat man's burden." But we digress. ...
— Three Elephant Power • Andrew Barton 'Banjo' Paterson

... England, my three brothers, Michael, William and Alexander, never domiciled themselves at any civil calling. Having caught the roving spirit of camps, they remained in the skirts of the array which the covenanted Lords at Edinburgh continued to maintain; and here, poor lads! I may digress a little, to record the brief memorials of their several ...
— Ringan Gilhaize - or The Covenanters • John Galt

... centralisation. Two lovers part, and the birds' faint chirp from the leafless tree, the smouldering rim of the sunset over misty fields, are true and symbolical parts of the scene; but if you deal in botany and ornithology and meteorology at such a moment, you cloud and dim the central point—you digress when ...
— At Large • Arthur Christopher Benson

... resists the temptation to digress from his proper theme: e.g. xxxix. 48, 6, 'cuius belli et causas et ordinem si expromere velim, immemor sim propositi, quo statui non ultra attingere externa, nisi qua Romanis ...
— The Student's Companion to Latin Authors • George Middleton

... contests. Each village hints that it has gained the greater number of victories; each is inclined in its heart to believe that the other one has actually done so—because, as I suppose, the agony of defeat leaves a more lasting impression than the joy of victory. But I digress. We have not even ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 159, July 14th, 1920 • Various

... their ocelli in an exactly intermediate condition. So that here we have two bodies of sterile workers in the same nest, differing not only in size, but in their organs of vision, yet connected by some few members in an intermediate condition. I may digress by adding, that if the smaller workers had been the most useful to the community, and those males and females had been continually selected, which produced more and more of the smaller workers, until all the workers were in this condition; we should then ...
— On the Origin of Species - 6th Edition • Charles Darwin

... space here to digress on the intermediate gradations. Besides, I have already done so, in part at least, elsewhere. But I wish to recall the curious coincidence that the mathematical achievements of the Elberfeld horses were ...
— Lola - The Thought and Speech of Animals • Henny Kindermann

... I have an idea that I stumbled on rather a wonderful person that day I missed the rector. Or is it possibly just the real belief in a wonderful thing that shines through you? But then, you're clever besides; I'm clever enough to know that. Only, don't digress so; don't write a lot of lovely English about clocks and getting up early. That's not to the point. That irritates me. I suppose it's because you see things covered with sunlight and wonder, and you just have to tell about ...
— August First • Mary Raymond Shipman Andrews and Roy Irving Murray

... digress: of all appeals,—although I grant the power of pathos, and of gold, Of beauty, flattery, threats, a shilling,—no Method's more sure at moments to take hold[fa] Of the best feelings of mankind, which ...
— The Works of Lord Byron, Volume 6 • Lord Byron

... known for such diseases; notwithstanding their failures and the great mortality under such a system of treatment. They have not felt justified to go beyond the rules of symptomatology as adopted by their schools, with diagnosis, prognosis and treatment. Should they digress from the rules of the etiquette of their alma maters they would lose the brotherly love and support of the medical association to which they belong, under the belief that, "A bad name is as bad as ...
— Philosophy of Osteopathy • Andrew T. Still

... very first water and magnitude, now makes his entre—the ghost of the late king! and here I must digress awhile, and like a raw notary's clerk, enter my feeble protest against the tame and unimpressive manner in which that supernatural personage is permitted to make his appearance. It should seem that our managers reserve ...
— The Mirror of Taste, and Dramatic Censor, Vol. I, No. 4, April 1810 • Various

... observation, not only as regards the ever-varying aspects of nature, but also as regards the quaint, droll, and humorous varieties of character, concur in rendering their conversation most delightful. I look back on these walks as among the brightest points in my existence. I have been led to digress on this subject. Although more correctly belonging to my father's life, yet it is so amalgamated with my own that it almost forms part of it, and it is difficult for me to separate ...
— James Nasmyth's Autobiography • James Nasmyth

... I want to digress here just a little bit by quoting one thing that Mr. Best said. I wish, by the way, that we could incorporate some of his homey philosophy into some of our minutes so as to really benefit by some of his remarks. I was impressed this morning by his statement in dealing with ...
— Northern Nut Growers Association Report of the Proceedings at the 44th Annual Meeting • Various

... We must here digress from the main point of this chapter long enough to explain that equality is not synonymous with identity, as seems to be the impression among the many; a misconception which we regret to say is shared by the judge on the bench with the workingman on the construction ...
— Sex=The Unknown Quantity - The Spiritual Function of Sex • Ali Nomad

... the camp. But now I must digress a moment to tell you something that the public—at least the public that has derived its knowledge of northern wilderness life from fiction—may find it hard to believe. And this is what I want to say: that every one in that whole ...
— The Drama of the Forests - Romance and Adventure • Arthur Heming

... sunlight and the holy image to which his poor "crazy" mother had held him up still acted upon his imagination. Brooding on these things he may have come to us perhaps only to see whether here he could sacrifice all or only "two roubles," and in the monastery he met this elder. I must digress to explain what an "elder" is in Russian monasteries, and I am sorry that I do not feel very competent to do so. I will try, however, to give a superficial account of it in a few words. Authorities on the subject assert that the institution of "elders" is of recent ...
— The Brothers Karamazov • Fyodor Dostoyevsky

... noted, That this Comet did very much digress from the Hypothesis, delivered by M. Auzout, in regard that, whereas according to that Hypothesis, this Star should not arrive to the Ecliptick till after the space of 3 months, it arrived there the 28 of ...
— Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society - Vol 1 - 1666 • Various

... it, and it may even be that, in spite of all, I culled some grain of comfort from the reflection. But let that be. My narrative would drag wearily were I to digress that I might tell you at length the ugly course of my thoughts whilst the sands of my last hour were running swiftly out. For, after all, my concern and yours is with the story of Lazzaro Biancomonte, sometime ...
— The Shame of Motley • Raphael Sabatini

... to return once more to the trees, the loss of which caused me to digress some pages back; there are compensations in all things. Not every one who becomes a sojourner among the Cotswold Hills is fated to undergo such a trial as the loss of these ninety elms. And, notwithstanding this severe lesson, I am still glad that I alighted on the spot from ...
— A Cotswold Village • J. Arthur Gibbs

... libraries of the Colonial Dames and everything along the line of reading circles, literary clubs, etc., have had their inception in the brains of women. Traveling libraries have been a boon to many a small town. Though it is impossible to digress in woman's work in the industries, the Newcomb Pottery, made at the Sophia Newcomb College, Louisiana, should be mentioned, all of which is done by women educated at that ...
— Final Report of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition Commission • Louisiana Purchase Exposition Commission

... too much. Nothing so terrorizes a blushing girl as a blushing man. And then—though they did sometimes digress—Clotilde and her partner met to talk "business" in a purely ...
— The Grandissimes • George Washington Cable

... your lordship seeth I have made a long digression from my answer, but I trust your lordship can consider what moveth me thus to digress: Surely it behoveth me not only to live uprightly, but to avoid all probable arguments that may be gathered to render me suspected to her majesty, whom I serve with all dutifulness and sincerity; and therefore I gather this, that if it were understood ...
— Memoirs of the Court of Queen Elizabeth • Lucy Aikin

... Scriptures themselves, I rejourn all such atheistical spirits, as Tully did Atticus, doubting of this point, to Plato's Phaedon. Or if they desire philosophical proofs and demonstrations, I refer them to Niphus, Nic. Faventinus' tracts of this subject. To Fran. and John Picus in digress: sup. 3. de Anima, Tholosanus, Eugubinus, To. Soto, Canas, Thomas, Peresius, Dandinus, Colerus, to that elaborate tract in Zanchius, to Tolet's Sixty Reasons, and Lessius' Twenty-two Arguments, to prove the ...
— The Anatomy of Melancholy • Democritus Junior

... and Korkus in several Districts. By strict abstention from beef, the adoption of Hindu rites, and to some extent of child-marriage, they get admission to the third group of castes from whom a Brahman cannot take water. It will be desirable here to digress from the main argument by noticing briefly the origin and affinities of the principal forest ...
— The Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces of India—Volume I (of IV) • R.V. Russell

... as we are now regarding that fortune seems readiest to favour the daring, and if I may digress briefly to adduce experiences coming within my own knowledge, I would say that it is to his very impulsiveness that the enthusiast often owes the safety of his neck. It is the timid, not the bold rider, that comes to grief at the fence. It is the man ...
— The Dominion of the Air • J. M. Bacon

... annoyance? Furthermore, if it were the custom to eat sugar on baked beans, as it is the custom to put sugar in coffee, this woman would not have been annoyed at all. It was simply the fact of seeing Mrs. Smith digress from the ordinary course of ...
— Nerves and Common Sense • Annie Payson Call

... digress for a moment longer from the relation of those occurrences which developed out of Pym's love affair, to say a word concerning some of the physical effects of this artificial light, and to explain certain facts related ...
— A Strange Discovery • Charles Romyn Dake

... his way to restore Mrs Tipps her lost ring, and that, therefore, it is our duty to resume the thread of our story, with, of course, a humble apology to the patient reader for having again given way to our irresistible tendency to digress! ...
— The Iron Horse • R.M. Ballantyne

... Such, not to digress into more minute particulars, may suffice to convey a general idea of the manner in which our churches were internally decorated, and how they were fitted up, with reference to the ceremonial rites of the church of Rome, in and before the year ...
— The Principles of Gothic Ecclesiastical Architecture, Elucidated by Question and Answer, 4th ed. • Matthew Holbeche Bloxam

... Here I shall digress long enough to point out by way of contrast the true form of divine government. Every one is familiar with the theocratic government of Israel under the Old Testament dispensation. God ruled. He who carefully reads the ...
— The Last Reformation • F. G. [Frederick George] Smith

... annals digress to relate an episode which has only collateral interest Hosuseri and Hohodemi made fishing and hunting, respectively, their avocations. But Hohodemi conceived a fancy to exchange pursuits, and importuned Hosuseri to agree. When, however, the former tried his luck at angling, he not only failed ...
— A History of the Japanese People - From the Earliest Times to the End of the Meiji Era • Frank Brinkley and Dairoku Kikuchi

... I will digress here for a minute to speak of a little incident connected with this disastrous feature of the day that has always impressed me as a pathetic instance of the patriotism and unselfish devotion to the cause that was by no means ...
— The Story of a Common Soldier of Army Life in the Civil War, 1861-1865 • Leander Stillwell

... name, I must here digress into a chapter of the history of manners in the nineteenth century, very well worth commemoration for its own sake. In some of the studios at that date, the hazing of new pupils was both barbarous and obscene. Two incidents, following one ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 13 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... digress a moment, while I attend to your neglected education," said Little Billy. "Because, from tonight, you will think of ambergris by day, and dream of it by night—ambergris in kegs, oodles of it! I don't suppose your legal ...
— Fire Mountain - A Thrilling Sea Story • Norman Springer

... ourselves a great mass of people undisturbed by the passing of vehicles, or by the shouts and whip-crackings of the noisy charioteers—was ever such a thing as a quiet Italian coachman, ancient or modern, we digress to wonder! All was orderly and decorous when compared with the quarrelling, screaming groups of citizens that block the congested streets of modern Naples. Happily for us various paintings of the Forum of Pompeii have been discovered, and these are naturally ...
— The Naples Riviera • Herbert M. Vaughan

... his own views, he can detail opposite arguments forcibly and luminously, and he is allowed the use of those oratorical powers in which, after all, his great strength lay. In those subjects, on the other hand, which are uninteresting because they are familiar, he may pause or digress before the mind is weary and the attention begins to flag; the reader is carried on by easy journeys and short stages, and novelty in the speaker supplies the want of novelty in the matter. Nor does Cicero discover less skill in the execution of these dialogues than address in their ...
— Historical Sketches, Volume I (of 3) • John Henry Newman

... a little digress from the chronological course of my explanatory narrative to inform the reader that when Lady Ellinor had her interview with Roland, she had been repelled by the sternness of his manner from divulging Vivian's secret. But on her first attempt to sound or conciliate him, she had begun with some ...
— The Caxtons, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... be apparent. Each sentence, stuffed with innumerable clauses of restriction, and other parenthetical circumstances, becomes a separate section—an independent whole. But, without insisting on Lord Brougham's oversights, or errors of defect, I will digress a moment to one positive caution of his, which will measure the value of his philosophy on this subject. He lays it down for a rule of indefinite application, that the Saxon part of our English idiom ...
— Memorials and Other Papers • Thomas de Quincey

... be pardoned if I digress at this time to state that the party of one hundred and sixty-nine, both stern and opposite, besieged my castle on the next day but one, with the punctuality of locusts, and despite all of my precautions, ...
— A Fool and His Money • George Barr McCutcheon

... digress. I was speaking of the bank check cipher. At the First National Bank I was shown another of these remarkable indorsements. ...
— Nye and Riley's Wit and Humor (Poems and Yarns) • Bill Nye

... are classic in their method, in their simplicity. They have scarcely changed since the days when Solomon built his Temple and draped it with such gorgeous hangings that even the inspired writers digress to emphasise their richness with long descriptions that could not possibly have assisted the cause ...
— The Tapestry Book • Helen Churchill Candee

... iron railings separating the garden from a meadow where now and then a cow, when she desires to be peculiarly agreeable to the sight, poses herself in silhouette against the sky. I like to gaze on that adventitious cow. Her ruminatory attitude falls in with mine. . . . But I digress. . ...
— Jaffery • William J. Locke

... point we digress to correct the widespread error in confusing sex-hygiene and eugenics. Many people who ought to know better use the two terms synonymously, perhaps because they are afraid of that comparatively novel but frank prefix in "sex-hygiene." The fact is that eugenics and sex-hygiene have little in common. ...
— Sex-education - A series of lectures concerning knowledge of sex in its - relation to human life • Maurice Alpheus Bigelow

... I think, finished with the personal points that I was recommended to notice, I will forsake the immediate object of this Preface; and, leaving Late Lyrics to whatever fate it deserves, digress for a few moments to more general considerations. The thoughts of any man of letters concerned to keep poetry alive cannot but run uncomfortably on the precarious prospects of English verse at the present day. Verily ...
— Late Lyrics and Earlier • Thomas Hardy

... go): (1) grade, gradual, graduate, degrade, digress, Congress, aggressive, progressive, degree; (2) gradation, Centigrade, ingress, ...
— The Century Vocabulary Builder • Creever & Bachelor

... do is to brace up the weak spots in us; to cultivate the strong ones; to teach us to avoid inimical environments; and to constantly remind us of the penalties we pay whenever we digress. ...
— How to Analyze People on Sight - Through the Science of Human Analysis: The Five Human Types • Elsie Lincoln Benedict and Ralph Paine Benedict

... nor, I presume, do they expect me to do so. What I am engaged in is a criticism (in the Kantian sense) of an established body of belief which has become an actual part of the mental fabric of my readers; and I should be the most exasperating of triflers and pedants if I were to digress into a criticism of some other belief or no-belief which my readers might conceivably profess if they were erudite Scriptural paleographers and historians, in which case, by the way, they would have to change their views so frequently that the gospel they received in their childhood would ...
— Preface to Androcles and the Lion - On the Prospects of Christianity • George Bernard Shaw

... rough treatment of his subject. In no essay, I think, does he quote so much from others, does he seem to feel it such a relief to find a backer, a somebody to fight with on a side point, a somebody (for instance Professor Nichol) to correct and gloss and digress upon while complimenting him. Mr Arnold is obviously not at ease in this Zion—which indeed is a Zion of an odd kind. Yet this very uneasiness gives to the Essay a glancing variety, a sort of animation and excitement, which are ...
— Matthew Arnold • George Saintsbury



Words linked to "Digress" :   stray, tell, divert, deviate



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