[ 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.

Nearby words

  1. diversification,
  2. diversified,
  3. diversified farming,
  4. diversiform,
  5. diversify,
  6. diversional,
  7. diversionary,
  8. diversionist,
  9. diversity,
  10. divert

Origin of diversion

1590–1600; < Medieval Latin dīversiōn- (stem of dīversiō), equivalent to Latin dīvers(us) diverse + -iōn- -ion

Related formspre·di·ver·sion, noun

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for diversion

British Dictionary definitions for diversion


/ (daɪˈvɜːʃən) /


the act of diverting from a specified course
mainly British 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 Formsdiversional or 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

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