from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Characterized by digressions; rambling.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Marked by digression; rambling

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Departing from the main subject; partaking of the nature of digression.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Tending to digress; departing from the main subject; partaking of the nature of digression.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. of superficial relevance if any
  • adj. (of e.g. speech and writing) tending to depart from the main point or cover a wide range of subjects


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • But that kind of digressive storytelling makes me wonder if "Mad Men" will ever truly be a crossover hit - something that rises above, say, 2 or 3 million viewers.


  • These detours add depth to the narrative, but the sheer volume of digressive material becomes a distraction, and Ms. Stanton struggles to identify a clear thematic, intellectual or narrative arc in Mr. Avery's activities.

    A Never-Ending Treasure Hunt

  • The discussion is digressive and overly credulous of literary and semi-historical sources, while scanting archeology.

    My Proposal for the Nirthers

  • In the right hands, the meditative, digressive style can work well.

    Heartbreak by Craig Raine

  • And it is only possible because of, essentially, the largesse of the federal government, and ultimately it led to this huge bailout of Fannie and Freddie, which is probably digressive from what we're talking about today but ultimately relevant.

    Planet Money Explains Latest Economic Numbers

  • But we follow their digressive, meandering voices avidly as they circle around their own particular loves and losses, all knitted together with Atkinson's extraordinary combination of wit, plain-speaking, tenderness and control.

    Started Early, Took My Dog by Kate Atkinson

  • The book compiles the scripts of some of his most celebrated solo shows, but fans still have plenty of new material to enjoy in the shape of some spectacularly digressive but frequently hilarious footnotes.

    This week's new comedy

  • In the 18th century, Laurence Sterne's Tristram Shandy had a narrator who kept interrupting himself to insert some new digressive reflection or anecdote.

    Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

  • They're also similarly filled with digressive narratives and descriptions of subjects peripherally related to their main themes, meanderings dear to the heart of fact-freaks like myself.

    Son of the Morning Star: Custer and the Little Bighorn, by Evan S. Connell

  • The anger is more manifest, the funereal music ubiquitous, the humor of the inserts (images from a century of collective amnesia and paranoia, otherwise known as popular culture) relatively flat, and the process of questioning not so much digressive, roundabout, and Socratic as top-down, linear, and loaded.

    Anis Shivani: Is the Opposite of Capitalism Democracy? A Review of Michael Moore's Capitalism: A Love Story


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  • I was thinking that there must be a form of tangent that means this, but tangential means something different.

    November 20, 2007

  • Tending to depart from the main point. Digressive is synonymous to rambling

    November 20, 2007