[dih-vurt, dahy-]
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verb (used with object)
  1. to turn aside or from a path or course; deflect.
  2. British. to route (traffic) on a detour.
  3. to draw off to a different course, purpose, etc.
  4. to distract from serious occupation; entertain or amuse.
verb (used without object)
  1. to turn aside; veer: It is sad to see so much talent divert to trivial occupations.

Origin of divert

1400–50; late Middle English < Latin dīvertere, equivalent to dī- di-2 + vertere to turn
Related formsdi·vert·ed·ly, adverbdi·vert·er, noundi·vert·i·ble, adjectivepre·di·vert, verb (used with object)re·di·vert, verb (used with object)un·di·vert·ed, adjectiveun·di·vert·i·ble, adjective

Synonyms for divert

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4. delight.

Synonym study

4. See amuse.

Antonyms for divert

4. bore.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for divert


  1. to turn (a person or thing) aside from a course; deflect
  2. (tr) to entertain; amuse
  3. (tr) to distract the attention of
Derived Formsdiverter, noundivertible, adjectivediverting, adjectivedivertingly, adverbdivertive, adjective

Word Origin for divert

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

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