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 evolutionary biology : the development of dissimilar traits or features (as of body structure or behavior) in closely related populations, species, or lineages of common ancestry that typically occupy dissimilar environments or ecological niches : divergent evolution
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 actual country-pop divergence is often more in the mind than on the tracks, as an endearing new salute to the songs of the pop-giant Bee Gees—brothers Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb—demonstrates anew. Barry Mazor, WSJ, "‘Greenfields: The Gibb Brothers Songbook (Vol. 1)’ by Barry Gibb Review: Country Luminaries Salute the Bee Gees," 4 Jan. 2021 Cruz, who is said to have 2024 presidential aspirations, also explained where his divergence from the president came into play. Mike Brest, Washington Examiner, "'Reckless and irresponsible': Cruz slams Trump's post-election rhetoric on 'massive fraud'," 1 Feb. 2021 Many large institutions would prefer to see more alignment, while Brexit supporters favor divergence. Simon Clark, WSJ, "What Does the Brexit Deal Mean for Financial Services?," 24 Dec. 2020 Not all policy of the last four years will be discarded; while there are certain to be many points of divergence, the incoming Biden-Harris administration may very well stay the course of its predecessors in domains like NATO spending. Justin Sherman, Wired, "The Biden Administration Will Have Its Hands Full With Russia," 13 Dec. 2020 The animals' stark divergence from gray wolves, researchers believe, places them in an entirely different genus. Amy Woodyatt, CNN, "Analysis of ancient DNA reveals details about the dire wolf, inspiration for 'Game of Thrones' creature," 14 Jan. 2021 This divergence owes as much to men—especially white men—leaving the Democratic ranks as to women joining them. Deborah Cohen, The Atlantic, "The Real Legacy of the Suffrage Movement," 20 Dec. 2020 In Best’s account, the explanation can be traced to the divergence of humans and chimpanzees over the past 6 to 8 million years. Alex Hutchinson, Outside Online, "Rethinking the Cross-Training Paradox," 19 Nov. 2020 The divergence is coming into view as states face delays in the administration of vaccine doses, with each operating on its own timeline based on the capacities of local health departments and hospital systems. Democrat-gazette Staff From Wire Reports, Arkansas Online, "Vaccinations' lag drawing concern," 30 Dec. 2020

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

borrowed from New Latin dīvergentia, noun derivative of Latin dīvergent-, dīvergens divergent

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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

21 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Divergence.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/divergence. Accessed 4 Mar. 2021.

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

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