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[dih-vurt, dahy-] /dɪˈvɜrt, daɪ-/
verb (used with object)
to turn aside or from a path or course; deflect.
British. to route (traffic) on a detour.
to draw off to a different course, purpose, etc.
to distract from serious occupation; entertain or amuse.
verb (used without object)
to turn aside; veer:
It is sad to see so much talent divert to trivial occupations.
Origin of divert
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English < Latin dīvertere, equivalent to dī- di-2 + vertere to turn
Related forms
divertedly, adverb
diverter, noun
divertible, adjective
predivert, verb (used with object)
redivert, verb (used with object)
undiverted, adjective
undivertible, adjective
4. delight. See amuse.
4. bore. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for divert
  • Either way, it means a tactic intended to divert attention away from something.
  • Instead, he is known chiefly for lighthearted music that is meant to divert, to entertain.
  • It would divert water west of Fargo and would involve engineering feats such as building aqueducts under two smaller rivers.
  • Engineers might build a temporary dam, called a cofferdam, upstream to divert the river into spillways that bypass the work site.
  • Engineers define irrigation efficiency as water consumed divided by water applied or diverted.
  • During the wet season, people divert the fresh water flowing into the pans for irrigation.
  • The measure, which goes to the full House, would divert low-level offenders into such programs as community sentencing.
  • Dams have been built to create electricity and divert water for agriculture.
  • Her stunned father bought her an accordion, hoping to divert her energies into music.
  • Many infrastructures feature concrete barriers that halt or divert possible slides.
British Dictionary definitions for divert


to turn (a person or thing) aside from a course; deflect
(transitive) to entertain; amuse
(transitive) to distract the attention of
Derived Forms
diverter, noun
divertible, adjective
diverting, adjective
divertingly, adverb
divertive, adjective
Word Origin
C15: from French divertir, from Latin dīvertere to turn aside, from di-² + vertere to turn
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for divert

early 15c., from Middle French divertir (14c.), from Latin divertere "to turn in different directions," blended with devertere "turn aside," from dis- "aside" and de- "from" + vertere "to turn" (see versus). Related: Diverted; diverting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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