di·​ver·​gent | \-jənt \

Definition of divergent 

1a : moving or extending in different directions from a common point : diverging from each other divergent paths

b : differing from each other or from a standard the divergent interests of capital and labor

2 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

3 physics : causing rays (see ray entry 2 sense 1b) to draw apart from a common center : causing divergence of rays a divergent lens

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Other Words from divergent

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

Generation Gap Americans in their 20s and 30s are lagging behind their parents in earnings at similar ages and are living longer, divergent dynamics that threaten retirement security. Anne Tergesen, WSJ, "How Millennials Can Maximize Savings for Retirement," 15 Nov. 2018 The same disaster can devastate businesses in divergent ways — a hurricane might tear the roof off one restaurant, flood another and leave a third with little damage. Fox News, "Post-disaster, business owners find varied paths to recovery," 29 Aug. 2018 Born into the Mormon faith, Reynolds was raised to believe that LGBTQ people were divergent of godliness. Henry Youtt, Billboard, "Imagine Dragons' Dan Reynolds Talks LGBTQ Acceptance in the Mormon Church: Watch," 6 June 2018 As inspiring as the Olympics can be, no amount of goodwill on the playing field can erase the ugly history, divergent geopolitical interests, and destructive weaponry arrayed on the peninsula. Bloomberg.com, "How North Korea Managed to Crash the Olympics Party," 31 Jan. 2018 Central banks in Europe on Thursday signaled different outlooks toward rate increases, suggesting the divergent paths of the world’s largest central banks are gripping smaller ones too. Jason Douglas, WSJ, "Central Banks Go Their Separate Ways," 21 June 2018 While Murphy and legislative leaders had always agreed on spending priorities, the problem has been how to pay for it all, with widely divergent preferences for new revenue. Maddie Hanna, Philly.com, "N.J. leaders reach budget deal, avert government shutdown," 30 June 2018 The often conflicting motivations of U.S. voters in Tuesday’s elections seem emblematic of where the nation stands at 2018’s turbulent midpoint, as the country’s two major parties continue on starkly divergent roads toward November midterms. Washington Post, "Immigration tops conflicting motivations for primary voters," 28 June 2018 That modest gain masks the widely divergent scenarios among different segments of the market: High-heel sales dropped 12 percent, while those for sport-leisure shoes climbed 16 percent, according to NPD Group. Sandrine Rastello, BostonGlobe.com, "Comfier shoes appear here to stay: Sneakers trend upends shoe retail," 30 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'divergent.' 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 divergent

1696, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for divergent

Latin divergent-, divergens, present participle of divergere

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Statistics for divergent

Last Updated

20 Nov 2018

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The first known use of divergent was in 1696

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by force of circumstances

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