di·​ver·​gence | \ də-ˈvər-jən(t)s, 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


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

Perhaps that divergence contains lessons for our present moment of panic, too. Sean Illing, Vox, "Intellectuals have said democracy is failing for a century. They were wrong.," 20 Dec. 2018 The re-route was a huge divergence from its usual trajectory across the Atlantic and through the Mediterranean, but thanks to excess windspeed harnessed by the jet stream, Flight 800 touched down on Turkish soil on time and unscathed. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "A Turkish Airlines Flight Flew an Extra 800 Miles and Still Landed on Time," 23 Oct. 2018 But there have been striking divergences based on partisanship, especially since the 2016 election. Eric Oliver, Washington Post, "Trump’s election has polarized Americans’ views of the future," 2 Mar. 2018 That did little to narrow the divergence in views between the central bank and equity markets on whether global economic growth is slowing. Jessica Menton, WSJ, "Stocks Fall Sharply as Nasdaq Closes Near Bear Market," 20 Dec. 2018 One notable divergence was the use of a dancing chorus, an ensemble of nine young hoofers that got its own numbers, each a mix of choreography and spots for individual improvisation. Brian Seibert, New York Times, "Conjuring Spirits at the Tap Family Reunion," 29 May 2018 What's more, is there could be a simple explanation for this divergence from what had become the norm for Karius since January. SI.com, "Bouncing Back: Making the Case for Loris Karius as Liverpool's Long-Term Number One," 7 June 2018 The rate divergence has been a drag on the Canadian dollar, which has lost 4 percent since Poloz’s last rate hike on Jan. 17. Theophilos Argitis, Bloomberg.com, "Trade Threats Will Likely Amplify Poloz’s Caution on Rates," 6 Mar. 2018 The divergence between the two chains is about a lot more than bad public relations. Spencer Jakab, WSJ, "Papa John’s Founder Fumbles the Ball Again," 11 July 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

14 Jan 2019

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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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