1. a roundabout or circuitous way or course, especially one used temporarily when the main route is closed.
  2. an indirect or roundabout procedure, path, etc.

verb (used without object)

  1. to make a detour; go by way of a detour.

verb (used with object)

  1. to cause to make a detour.
  2. to make a detour around: We detoured Birmingham.


  1. a deviation from a direct, usually shorter route or course of action


  1. to deviate or cause to deviate from a direct route or course of action

1738, from French détour, from Old French destor “side road, byway; evasion, excuse,” from destorner “turn aside,” from des- “aside” + tourner “to turn” (see turn (v.)).


1836 (intransitive); 1905 (transitive), from detour (n.). Related: Detoured; detouring.

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