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verb di·vert \də-ˈvərt, dī-\

Simple Definition of divert

  • : to change the direction or use of (something)

  • : to take (attention) away from someone or something

  • : to take the attention of (someone) away from something or someone

Full Definition of divert

  1. intransitive verb
  2. :  to turn aside :  deviate <studied law but diverted to diplomacy>

  3. transitive verb
  4. 1 a :  to turn from one course or use to another :  deflect <divert traffic to a side street> b :  distract <trying to divert her attention>

  5. 2 :  to give pleasure to especially by distracting the attention from what burdens or distresses

Examples of divert

  1. Police diverted traffic to a side street.

  2. The stream was diverted toward the farmland.

  3. They were charged with illegally diverting public funds for private use.

  4. He lied to divert attention from the real situation.

  5. They're only proposing the law to divert attention from important issues.

Origin of divert

Middle English, from Middle French & Latin; Middle French divertir, from Latin divertere to turn in opposite directions, from dis- + vertere to turn — more at worth

First Known Use: 15th century

Synonym Discussion of divert

amuse, divert, entertain mean to pass or cause to pass the time pleasantly. amuse suggests that one's attention is engaged lightly <amuse yourselves while I make dinner>. divert implies distracting attention from worry or routine occupation especially by something funny <a light comedy to divert the tired businessman>. entertain suggests supplying amusement by specially contrived methods <a magician entertaining children at a party>.

Seen and Heard

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February 10, 2016

to put in good humor

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