di·​ver·​gent də-ˈvər-jənt How to pronounce divergent (audio)
: moving or extending in different directions from a common point : diverging from each other
divergent paths
see also divergent evolution
: differing from each other or from a standard
the divergent interests of capital and labor
mathematics : relating to or being an infinite (see infinite entry 1 sense 4c) sequence that does not have a limit or an infinite series whose partial sums do not have a limit
physics : causing rays (see ray entry 2 sense 1b) to draw apart from a common center : causing divergence of rays
a divergent lens
divergently adverb
Choose the Right Synonym for divergent

different, diverse, divergent, disparate, various mean unlike in kind or character.

different may imply little more than separateness but it may also imply contrast or contrariness.

different foods

diverse implies both distinctness and marked contrast.

such diverse interests as dancing and football

divergent implies movement away from each other and unlikelihood of ultimate meeting or reconciliation.

went on to pursue divergent careers

disparate emphasizes incongruity or incompatibility.

disparate notions of freedom

various stresses the number of sorts or kinds.

tried various methods

Examples of divergent in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In fact, in recent years the components have been more divergent than in any expansion on record. Mike Sommers, Fortune Europe, 1 Feb. 2024 Knitting together so many divergent themes, Troll Knoll has its own mythology, peopled by Morris with Far Western Rinkydinks and Wackerbacks. Debbie Arrington, Sacramento Bee, 31 Jan. 2024 Complexity—rather than being compressed into Anderson’s mercurial symbolism—gets direct, divergent, and emotionally candid expression. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 29 Jan. 2024 And institutions need divergent voices and inclusive policies to thrive, but their programs should not be used as a cudgel for conformity. Mary Ellen Klas, Twin Cities, 28 Jan. 2024 With age, that singular essence takes divergent forms, like fraternal twins. Jason O'Bryan, Robb Report, 28 Jan. 2024 One reason for these divergent results is that New Hampshire primary voters are less likely to identify as out-and-out Republicans than Iowa caucusgoers. Geoffrey Skelley, ABC News, 22 Jan. 2024 The differing revenue estimates — and the equally divergent calculations of school financing — together account for most of the $30 billion-plus gap between Newsom’s estimate of a $38 billion deficit and Petek’s $68 billion estimate. Dan Walters, The Mercury News, 13 Jan. 2024 This split is due not only to differences across the two states’ populations, but also divergent electoral rules that give New Hampshire a larger, less right-leaning electorate than Iowa. Geoffrey Skelley, ABC News, 22 Jan. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'divergent.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


borrowed from Latin dīvergent-, dīvergens, present participle of dīvergere "to proceed in different directions, diverge"

First Known Use

1696, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of divergent was in 1696

Dictionary Entries Near divergent

Cite this Entry

“Divergent.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/divergent. Accessed 21 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


di·​ver·​gent də-ˈvər-jənt How to pronounce divergent (audio)
: diverging from each other
divergently adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on divergent

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