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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for divergence


bifurcation, divarication, divergency, separation



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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

No state — not even California, long held up as the embodiment of America’s widening geographic inequality — has seen a larger post-recession divergence between its elite cities and everywhere else. New York Times, "The ‘Texas Miracle’ Missed Most of Texas," 7 July 2019 The Dow jones Industrial Average was off 516 points, or 2.1%, among the steepest drops this month, while the S&P 500 was down 1.6% President Trump has embraced the divergence between the U.S. and the rest of the world, especially China. Josh Zumbrun, WSJ, "Slower Overseas Growth Fans Worries on U.S. Expansion," 14 Dec. 2018 New findings contradict the theory that the life-span divergence between educated and uneducated Americans is due to despair. Rafil Kroll-zaidi, Harper's magazine, "Findings," 16 Sep. 2019 The divergence between stocks and bond yields implies that a correction could be in store. 2. Julia Horowitz, CNN, "Markets think the Fed will cut rates. Here's why that matters," 9 June 2019 Recent months have shown a growing divergence between the high and low ends of the U.S. market. Los Angeles Times, "Housing affordability crisis spreads to the Midwest and other lower-cost areas," 30 July 2019 Domestic cats also display relatively modest genetic divergence from their ancestors, meaning their brains are probably still wired to think like a wildcat’s. Lauren Robin Finka, Quartz, "How to stroke a cat, according to science," 23 July 2019 Since 2009, the South’s convergence has turned to divergence, as the region recorded the country’s slowest growth in output and wages, the lowest labor-force participation rate and the highest unemployment rate. ... Sharon Nunn, WSJ, "The South’s Economy Is Falling Behind: ‘All of a Sudden the Money Stops Flowing’," 9 June 2019 Much of Wells Fargo’s divergence occurred just after Sloan stepped down. Hannah Levitt, Los Angeles Times, "As Wells Fargo seeks a new CEO, it loses $24 billion in market value," 20 Aug. 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.

See More

First Known Use of divergence

1656, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for divergence

see diverge

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about divergence

Dictionary Entries near divergence








Statistics for divergence

Last Updated

7 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for divergence

The first known use of divergence was in 1656

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on divergence

What made you want to look up divergence? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


suitable to be imparted to the public

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!