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adjective di·ver·gent \-jənt\

Definition of DIVERGENT

a :  diverging from each other <divergent paths>
b :  differing from each other or from a standard <the divergent interests of capital and labor>
:  relating to or being an infinite sequence that does not have a limit or an infinite series whose partial sums do not have a limit
:  causing divergence of rays <a divergent lens>
di·ver·gent·ly adverb


Latin divergent-, divergens, present participle of divergere
First Known Use: 1696

Synonym Discussion of DIVERGENT

different, diverse, divergent, disparate, various mean unlike in kind or character. different may imply little more than separateness but it may also imply contrast or contrariness <different foods>. diverse implies both distinctness and marked contrast <such diverse interests as dancing and football>. divergent implies movement away from each other and unlikelihood of ultimate meeting or reconciliation <went on to pursue divergent careers>. disparate emphasizes incongruity or incompatibility <disparate notions of freedom>. various stresses the number of sorts or kinds <tried various methods>.

Numerous commentators have condemned different than in spite of its use since the 17th century by many of the best-known names in English literature. It is nevertheless standard and is even recommended in many handbooks when followed by a clause, because insisting on from in such instances often produces clumsy or wordy formulations. Different from, the generally safe choice, is more common especially when it is followed by a noun or pronoun.


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