1. The act of turning aside, or state of being turned aside; a turning from a right line or proper course; a bending, especially. Downward; deviation. "The other leads to the same point, through certain deflections." (Lowth)

2. The deviation of a shot or ball from its true course.

3. <optics> A deviation of the rays of light toward the surface of an opaque body; inflection; diffraction.

4. <engineering> The bending which a beam or girder undergoes from its own weight or by reason of a load.

Origin: L. Deflexio, fr. Deflectere: cf. F. Deflexion.

(01 Mar 1998)

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