di·ver·gence | \ -ˈvər-jən(t)s \

Definition of divergence 

1a : a drawing apart (as of lines extending from a common center)

b : difference, disagreement

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


bifurcation, divarication, divergency, separation



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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

On the growth front, probably the most significant development for global investors this year has been the divergence between U.S. and eurozone growth and the sharp dollar rally that has spread turmoil through markets. Richard Barley, WSJ, "For Investors, Europe Is Back to Muddling Through," 22 June 2018 European leaders are bracing for a rocky week, amid growing worries that a divergence between European and American security interests under the Trump administration could endanger Europe’s U.S. security umbrella. Rebecca Ballhaus, WSJ, "Trump Pressures NATO Allies as He Heads to Summit," 10 July 2018 In a study out today in the journal Evolution, Loreto and her colleagues show that divergence between leaf-biting and twig-biting seems to have been a consequence of ancient climate change. Matt Simon, WIRED, "Climate Change Made Zombie Ants Even More Cunning," 29 May 2018 In corporate America there is often a divergence between what’s stated on paper and how the culture actually works. Fortune, "Slalom, LLC.," 26 June 2018 Its divergence amounted to 20 percent of the lender’s reported non-performing loans, while HDFC Bank’s gap was 35 percent, according to calculations by BloombergQuint. Anto Antony, Bloomberg.com, "$3.6 Billion in Hidden Bad Loans Spotlight India Bank Stress," 11 Feb. 2018 The market performance reflects a growing divergence in global economies and their exposure to trade. Shen Hong, WSJ, "When China and U.S. Fight Over Trade, European Stocks Get Hurt," 26 June 2018 Perhaps his most famous New Yorker piece is his 2009 story looking at the wide divergence in Medicare expenditures (often tied to the quantity of care people were given) and how more spending did not lead to better quality. Andrew Joseph, STAT, "Five ideas that might steer Gawande as CEO of Amazon-backed health company," 20 June 2018 At one point, Illing brings up the Scandinavian studies that show that the more gender-egalitarian a country is, the greater the divergence in the kind of jobs pursued by men and women. Andrew Sullivan, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump Is Making Us All Live in His Delusional Reality Show," 15 June 2018

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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Statistics for divergence

Last Updated

26 Aug 2018

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Time Traveler for divergence

The first known use of divergence was in 1656

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More Definitions for divergence


di·ver·gence | \ də-ˈvər-jən(t)s, dī- \

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 \ verb diverged; diverging
divergent \-ˈvər-jənt \ adjective

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Comments on divergence

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to make amends

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