digression


digression
digression, episode, excursus, divagation are comparable when they denote a departure from the main course of development, especially of a narrative, a drama, or an exposition.
Digression applies to a deviation, especially if at the expense of unity of effect, from the main subject of a discourse; it may or may not suggest intention or design
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in this long digression which I was accidentally led into— Sterne

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a word of digression may be pardoned, however, for the two subjects are allied— Cardozo

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Episode (see also OCCURRENCE) usually applies to an incidental narrative which, though separable from the main subject, arises naturally from it; sometimes an episode is definitely a purposeful digression (as for giving variety to the narration, heightening the illusion of reality, or elucidating a motive); thus, in Paradise Lost Raphael's account of the war in heaven is in this sense an episode because it breaks the chronological order of the poem and reverts to events which occurred prior to those told in the first book
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descriptive poetry . . . may be interspersed with dramatic episodesAlexandery

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Episode is used not only of a literary work but of other art forms or of life in reference to something that seems apart from the main subject or course of a thing
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delight in the virginal beauty of fresh blossoms, in the dewy green of water-meadows ... is evident in numberless pictures of the earlier schools of Europe; but there these amenities of nature are but an episodeBinyon

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Miss Dix's biographer . . . considers her war work an episode, not equal in quality to her life work— Baker

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Excursus applies to an avowed and usually formal digression elucidating at some length an incidental point
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this started an ethnological excursus on swineherds, and drew from Pinecoffin long tables showing the proportion per thousand of the caste in the Derajat— Kipling

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Divagation is often used in preference to digression when aimless wandering from the main course or inattentiveness to logic is implied
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Froissart's style of poetry invites the widest . . . liberty of divagation, of dragging in anything that really interested him— Saintsbury

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the author of it would need to keep an extremely clear head, reject stuffing and divagationSwinnerton

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New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • digression — [ digresjɔ̃ ] n. f. • 1190; lat. digressio, de digredi « s éloigner » 1 ♦ Développement oral ou écrit qui s écarte du sujet. Faire une digression sur, à propos de... ⇒ parenthèse. « Les digressions trop longues ou trop fréquentes rompent l unité… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Digression — (parekbasis in Greek, egressio, digressio and excursion in Latin) is a section of a composition or speech that is an intentional change of subject. In Classical rhetoric since Corax of Syracuse, especially in Institutio Oratoria of Quintilian,… …   Wikipedia

  • Digression — (Abweichung) wird in der Astronomie in verschiedenen Bedeutungen, einmal gleichbedeutend mit Elongation gebraucht und bezeichnet dann den Winkelabstand eines Planeten von der Sonne zu der Zeit, wenn derselbe östlich oder westlich am größten ist… …   Lexikon der gesamten Technik

  • digression — DIGRESSION. s. f. Ce qui est dans un discours hors du principal sujet. Digression ennuyeuse. Longue digression. Courte digression. Digression agréable. Faire une digression. Cet Auteur est plein de digressions inutiles …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française 1798

  • digression — DIGRESSION. s. f. Ce qui est hors du principal sujet dans un discours. Digression ennuyeuse. longue digression. courte digression. digression agreable. faire une digression. cet autheur est plein de digressions inutiles …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • Digression — (lat. digressio ‚Abweichung, Abschweifung‘) kann bedeuten: die Winkeldifferenz, die ein Gestirn auf seiner täglichen Sternbahn vom Meridian hat, siehe größte Digression ein kurzes Musikstück, siehe Digression (Musik) eine bewusste Abschweifung… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Digression — Di*gres sion, n. [L. digressio: cf. F. digression.] 1. The act of digressing or deviating, esp. from the main subject of a discourse; hence, a part of a discourse deviating from its main design or subject. [1913 Webster] The digressions I can not …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Digression — (lat.), Abschweifung; in der Astronomie soviel wie Ausweichung (s. Elongation), auch speziell Abweichung vom Meridian. Die Beobachtung der größten Digressionen eines Zirkumpolarsterns (seiner größten Abweichungen vom Meridian nach W. und O.)… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Digression — (lat.), Abweichung, Abschweifung; bei Fixsternen, die nördl. vom Zenit kulminieren, der von ihrem Vertikalkreis mit der Nordhälfte des Meridians gebildete Winkel; auch s.v.w. Elongation (s.d.) …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • digression — I noun aberrancy, aberration, alteration, break, change, circuity, convolution, departure, detour, deviation, digressio, divagation, divarication, divergence, diversion, drift, excursus, misdirection, periphrasis, roundabout way, shift in topic,… …   Law dictionary


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