di·​vers | \ ˈdī-vərz How to pronounce divers (audio) \

Definition of divers

 (Entry 1 of 2)

Definition of divers (Entry 2 of 2)

: an indefinite number more than one with divers of the leaves torn and stitched across— Charles Dickens

Synonyms for divers

Synonyms: Adjective

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Divers is not a misspelling of diverse—it is a word in its own right. Both words come from Latin diversus, meaning "turning in opposite directions," and both historically could be pronounced as either DYE-verz (like the plural of the noun diver) or dye-VERSS. Divers (now pronounced more frequently as DYE-verz) is typically used before a plural noun to indicate an unspecified quantity ("a certain secret drawer in the wardrobe, where were stored divers parchments" — Jane Eyre); it's a rather formal word and not commonly encountered. Diverse (usually dye-VERSS) is frequently called upon to emphasize variety. It means either "dissimilar" or "unlike" (as in "a variety of activities to appeal to the children's diverse interests") or "having distinct or unlike elements or qualities" ("a diverse student body").

Examples of divers in a Sentence

Adjective the state fair offers divers amusements for the whole family

First Known Use of divers


14th century, in the meaning defined above

Pronoun, plural in construction

1528, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for divers


Middle English divers, diverse diverse

Note: The form divers continues a Middle English variant of diverse with the stress shifted to the initial syllable and the vowel lengthened. In modern English diverse, with stress on the second syllable, has taken over most of the word's meanings, but divers remains as a quantifier, with the final -s voiced as if it were a plural marker.

Pronoun, plural in construction

from pronominal use of divers entry 1

Note: See note at divers entry 1.

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The first known use of divers was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Divers.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/divers. Accessed 17 Aug. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on divers

Nglish: Translation of divers for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of divers for Arabic Speakers


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