di·​verge | \ də-ˈvərj How to pronounce diverge (audio) , dī- \
diverged; diverging

Definition of diverge

intransitive verb

1a : to move or extend in different directions from a common point : draw apart diverging roads
b : to become or be different in character or form The friends' lives diverged after graduation. : differ in opinion This is where our views diverge.
2 : to turn aside from a path or course : deviate diverge from a direct path
3 mathematics : to be divergent (see divergent sense 2)

transitive verb

: deflect diverge a compass needle

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Choose the Right Synonym for diverge

swerve, veer, deviate, depart, digress, diverge mean to turn aside from a straight course. swerve may suggest a physical, mental, or moral turning away from a given course, often with abruptness. swerved to avoid hitting the dog veer implies a major change in direction. at that point the path veers to the right deviate implies a turning from a customary or prescribed course. never deviated from her daily routine depart suggests a deviation from a traditional or conventional course or type. occasionally departs from his own guidelines digress applies to a departing from the subject of one's discourse. a professor prone to digress diverge may equal depart but usually suggests a branching of a main path into two or more leading in different directions. after school their paths diverged

Examples of diverge in a Sentence

A prism causes rays of light to diverge. They were close friends in college, but after graduation, their lives diverged.
Recent Examples on the Web This is where the event diverges from traditional Day of the Dead celebrations and takes on a character of its own. Tirion Morris, azcentral, "Tucson's All Souls Procession: How to take part, where to park and what it all means," 30 Oct. 2019 These signals come at a critical time: The age at which interest in pink diverges in boys and girls also aligns with the window — between the second and third birthday — when children begin to notice their world is split into two genders. Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, "Do Girls Really Prefer Pink? There's No Hard-Wired Reason for Girls to Choose Pink Over Blue," 28 Oct. 2019 Cephalopods, however, are invertebrates, meaning their family tree diverged from ours before the development of the backbone. Claire Bugos, Smithsonian, "Heidi the Snoozing Octopus May Not Be Dreaming After All," 12 Oct. 2019 As their career paths diverged from Bloom, both Solis and King went several years without seeing or speaking to their former teacher. Zachary Lewis, cleveland, "Late Cleveland Orchestra horn principal Myron Bloom recalled as artistic giant," 8 Oct. 2019 This is not the first time Twitter and Facebook diverged on important policies. Washington Post, "Facebook is deleting the name of the potential whistleblower," 8 Nov. 2019 This is not the first time Twitter and Facebook diverged on important policies. Barbara Orturay, The Denver Post, "Facebook is deleting the name of the potential whistleblower," 8 Nov. 2019 This is not the first time Twitter and Facebook diverged on important policies. Barbara Ortutay, chicagotribune.com, "As potential name of Trump whistleblower circulates online, Facebook says it’s deleting mentions over policy violation," 8 Nov. 2019 The brand's fate has increasingly diverged from J Crew, which has lost sales, closed stores and piled up $1.7 billion of debt. Nathaniel Meyersohn, CNN, "Madewell, J Crew's denim brand, files for an IPO," 13 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'diverge.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of diverge

1665, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for diverge

Medieval Latin divergere, from Latin dis- + vergere to incline — more at wrench

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Time Traveler for diverge

Time Traveler

The first known use of diverge was in 1665

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Statistics for diverge

Last Updated

1 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Diverge.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/diverge. Accessed 13 December 2019.

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More Definitions for diverge


How to pronounce diverge (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of diverge

: to split and move out in different directions from a single point
: to be or become different

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More from Merriam-Webster on diverge

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for diverge

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with diverge

Spanish Central: Translation of diverge

Nglish: Translation of diverge for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of diverge for Arabic Speakers

Comments on diverge

What made you want to look up diverge? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


easily led, controlled, or managed

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