late 13c., "various," from O.Fr. divers
"different, various, singular, odd, exceptional, wretched, treacherous, perverse," from L. diversus
"turned different ways," in L.L. "various," pp. of divertere
). Sense of "several, numerous" is recorded from c.1300, referring "originally and in form to the variety of objects; but, as variety implies number, becoming an indeffinite numeral word expressing multiplicity" [OED].