di·​ver·​gence | \ də-ˈvər-jən(t)s How to pronounce divergence (audio) , dī- \

Definition of divergence

1a : a drawing apart (as of lines extending from a common center)
c : the acquisition of dissimilar characters by related organisms in unlike environments
2 : a deviation from a course or standard
3 : the condition of being mathematically divergent

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Synonyms & Antonyms for divergence



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Examples of divergence in a Sentence

a growing divergence of opinion about that U.S. president's place in history any divergence from the community's strict moral code was met with social ostracism
Recent Examples on the Web But a larger, subtler process of divergence will have already begun. Sam Knight, The New Yorker, "What Will Brexit Britain Be Like?," 31 Jan. 2020 These signs of a possible divergence remain, for now, warnings of a road neither the U.S. nor Europe wishes to go down. Ryan Meilak, National Review, "A New Year’s Resolution for the Transatlantic Community," 3 Jan. 2020 Even if that fabric weren’t already so obviously tearing, the fact that integrity and an unbreakable attachment to truth count as signs of neuro-divergence might suggest that all is not well. Ben Ehrenreich, The New Republic, "The Passion of Greta Thunberg," 27 Dec. 2019 But the United States has a much bigger banking system, along with a divergence of opinions about the role the Federal Reserve should play in the private sector. NBC News, "'Three day wait' for checks to clear could speed up," 6 Aug. 2019 In Translation: The word divergence gets used in at least two distinct areas of market analysis. WSJ, "Investing in Funds & ETFs," 2 Jan. 2020 That divergence necessitated a change in management. Annie Palmer, NBC News, "Expedia boots out CEO and CFO, puts Barry Diller in charge," 4 Dec. 2019 However, wage growth isn’t what’s really driving that divergence. Gwynn Guilford, Quartz, "The great American labor paradox: Plentiful jobs, most of them bad," 21 Nov. 2019 An economic slowdown in the early 2020s causes more near-death experiences for the euro, hardens the mood against further integration and increases economic divergence. The Economist, "Reading the cards," 14 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'divergence.' 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 divergence

1656, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for divergence

see diverge

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Time Traveler for divergence

Time Traveler

The first known use of divergence was in 1656

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Statistics for divergence

Last Updated

11 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Divergence.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/divergence. Accessed 19 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for divergence


di·​ver·​gence | \ də-ˈvər-jən(t)s, dī- How to pronounce divergence (audio) \

Medical Definition of divergence

1a : a drawing apart
b : the acquisition of dissimilar characters by related organisms under the influence of unlike environments
2 : dissemination of the effect of activity of a single nerve cell through multiple synaptic connections — compare convergence sense 4

Other Words from divergence

diverge \ -​ˈvərj How to pronounce diverge (audio) \ verb diverged; diverging
divergent \ -​ˈvər-​jənt How to pronounce divergent (audio) \ adjective

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