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90s Slang You Should Know


[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.
4. bore.
Synonym Study
4. See amuse. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for divert
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He saw nothing that could divert his attention from the one object of his search.

    The Bastonnais John Lesperance
  • Will it not use the power to divert social effort to its own service and gain?

    Folkways William Graham Sumner
  • He thought he could be happy if he could but divert the conversation from its present awkward drift.

    The Ghost of Guir House Charles Willing Beale
  • "And to think you should be wounded," said she, to divert his attention from the tree.

    White Lies Charles Reade
  • I am singing, doctor, to divert my attention from a sight which appals me.

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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