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 If Britain opts to diverge in a way that clearly impacts trade, tariffs can be imposed, with a new arbitration mechanism, separate from the European Court of Justice. Star Tribune, "Brexit by Boris narrows free trade, but it could have been worse," 28 Dec. 2020 Dividend policies for European banks are likely to diverge in the coming months. Rochelle Toplensky, WSJ, "Dividends Aren’t Always a Reliable Guide to Bank Health," 4 Dec. 2020 Four years later, the counties began to diverge politically: Jasper voted 2 to 1 for John McCain, while Newton went for Barack Obama by the barest of margins, just over 1 percent. Haisten Willis, Washington Post, "In neighboring Georgia counties, election revealed a growing divide that mirrors the nation," 30 Nov. 2020 But beliefs began to diverge dramatically when politicians grew louder than the health experts. Alia E. Dastagir, USA TODAY, "As COVID surges, Americans remain divided on the threat. What will it take to bring them together?," 19 Nov. 2020 From this point, the show begins to diverge into its trademark multiple plotlines, each one forming around the 40th birthday celebration(s) of the Big Three. Amanda Ostuni, EW.com, "This Is Us premiere recap: Hindsight is 2020 in 'Forty'," 28 Oct. 2020 The countries’ standards began to diverge in the 1960s, when the U.K. moved to a flat-pin plug and South Africa declined to follow. Brian Browdie, Quartz Africa, "South Africa’s unusual electrical plugs and sockets are headed for retirement," 17 Oct. 2020 Though Askew landed a top-10 in the season-opener at Texas (ninth), with O'Ward in 12th, and fought into the Fast Six in the second race of the year in the GMR Grand Prix, their paths seemed to diverge later that weekend. Nathan Brown, The Indianapolis Star, "Pato O'Ward to return to Arrow McLaren SP for 2021 IndyCar season," 13 Oct. 2020 Both promise reforms — but from there their platforms start to diverge. Matt Sledge, NOLA.com, "Former prosecutors and public defender chief race for Criminal District Court bench seats," 5 Oct. 2020

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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Learn More about diverge

Time Traveler for diverge

Time Traveler

The first known use of diverge was in 1665

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Statistics for diverge

Last Updated

15 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Diverge.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/diverge. Accessed 21 Jan. 2021.

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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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