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divagate

[dahy-vuh-geyt]
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verb (used without object), di·va·gat·ed, di·va·gat·ing.
  1. to wander; stray.
  2. to digress in speech.
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Origin of divagate

1590–1600; < Latin dīvagātus (past participle of dīvagārī to wander off), equivalent to dī- di-2 + vag- (stem of vagārī to wander) + -ātus -ate1
Related formsdi·va·ga·tion, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for divagation

Historical Examples

  • In his finest passages, as in his most trivial, he is at the mercy of the will-o'-the-wisp of divagation.

    Essays in English Literature, 1780-1860

    George Saintsbury

  • That ended the Russian divagation, and it had the effect of making the table-talk impersonal.

  • One would like to have Mr. Arnold's reply to this divagation on Don Quixote.

  • With such hints for divagation, let us resume our way down the river, henceforth navigable by barges and bridled by locks.

    Surrey

    A.R. Hope Moncrieff

  • He had an unconquerable and sometimes very irritating habit of digression, of divagation, of aside.


British Dictionary definitions for divagation

divagate

verb
  1. (intr) rare to digress or wander
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Derived Formsdivagation, noun

Word Origin

C16: from Latin di- ² + vagārī to wander
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

Word Origin and History for divagation

n.

1550s, noun of action from Latin divagatus, past participle of divagari (see divagate).

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divagate

v.

1590s, from Latin divagatus, past participle of divagari "to wander about," from di(s)- "apart" (see dis-) + vagari "to wander, ramble" (see vague). Related: Divagated; divagating.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper