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

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 Two long anchor routes, the Spine and Ridge trails, serve as main arteries from which connecting paths diverge. Mare Czinar, The Arizona Republic, 30 Dec. 2021 Salomons points out that previous studies comparing service dogs with household pets show their abilities do not diverge significantly. Tess Joosse, Scientific American, 12 July 2021 Yet Straker Hauser, who spent 10 years in print media, insisted that the show doesn’t diverge too far from the actual. New York Times, 25 May 2021 That includes when a prosecutor leaves or is no longer responsible for an investigation, and whose personal interests may diverge from the probe, former officials said. Washington Post, 23 Mar. 2021 Expect more currency instability if central banks diverge further. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 16 Dec. 2021 While opinions diverge widely on working in the office versus remote versus hybrid, most people agree that occasional in-person gatherings are healthy and even necessary to productive working relationships and collaboration. S. Mitra Kalita, Fortune, 23 June 2021 The coalition’s announcements Monday also underscored how its policies diverge from Netanyahu’s on some issues but continue his approach to others. BostonGlobe.com, 14 June 2021 The coalition’s announcements on Monday also underscored how its policies diverge from Mr. Netanyahu’s on some issues, but continue his approach to others. New York Times, 14 June 2021

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

borrowed from Latin dīvergere "to proceed in different directions," from dī-, variant before voiced sounds of dis- dis- + vergere "to move downward, slope downward, sink" — more at verge entry 3

Note: The verb dīvergere, attested once in classical Latin, is rare before later medieval and modern Latin, where it appears in scientific and mathematical texts, often as an antonym of convergere "to converge."

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The first known use of diverge was in 1665

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Last Updated

15 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Diverge.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/diverge. Accessed 20 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for diverge



English Language Learners Definition of diverge

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

More from Merriam-Webster on diverge

Nglish: Translation of diverge for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of diverge for Arabic Speakers


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