Day by day, it drives people to distraction by diverting energy to mindless legal compliance.
It had been a disaster, diverting farmers from the land, draining their grain supplies and ultimately starving millions.
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.