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[dih-vur-zhuh n, -shuh n, dahy-] /dɪˈvɜr ʒən, -ʃən, daɪ-/
the act of diverting or turning aside, as from a course or purpose:
a diversion of industry into the war effort.
a channel made to divert the flow of water from one course to another or to direct the flow of water draining from a piece of ground.
British. a detour on a highway or road.
distraction from business, care, etc.; recreation; amusement; a pastime:
Movies are his favorite diversion.
Military. a feint intended to draw off attention from the point of main attack.
Origin of diversion
1590-1600; < Medieval Latin dīversiōn- (stem of dīversiō), equivalent to Latin dīvers(us) diverse + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
prediversion, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for diversion
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • This occupation, under the circumstances, supplied every kind of diversion.

    A Labrador Doctor Wilfred Thomason Grenfell
  • At times, so fuzzy do I get from so much reading, that I am glad for any diversion.

  • And he calculated somewhat on the diversion he would find in building a home for the woman he so dearly loved.

    The Measure of a Man Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr
  • At this juncture Polatkin in the rôle of peacemaker created a diversion.

    Elkan Lubliner, American Montague Glass
  • The first diversion she sought was really an effort of her grief to renew itself by a little repose.

    We Can't Have Everything Rupert Hughes
British Dictionary definitions for diversion


the act of diverting from a specified course
(mainly Brit) an official detour used by traffic when a main route is closed
something that distracts from business, etc; amusement
(military) a feint attack designed to draw an enemy away from the main attack
Derived Forms
diversional, diversionary, adjective
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 diversion

early 15c., "diverse condition;" c.1600 "act of diverting," from Middle French diversion, from Late Latin diversionem (nominative diversio), noun of action from past participle stem of Latin divertere (see divert).

Sense of "amusement, entertainment" is first recorded 1640s. Hence, divertimento (1823), from the Italian form; originally "a musical composition designed primarily for entertainment."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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