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

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 This divergence is more than a statistical curiosity. Neil Irwin, New York Times, "One County Thrives. The Next One Over Struggles. Economists Take Note.," 29 June 2018 Unlike some of the other planes's crews flying in the region this evening, the crew of AF447 has not studied the pattern of storms and requested a divergence around the area of most intense activity. Jeff Wise, Popular Mechanics, "What Really Happened Aboard Air France 447," 6 Dec. 2011 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

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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Last Updated

4 Nov 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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a private place of worship

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