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


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plural in construction
: an indefinite number more than one
with divers of the leaves torn and stitched acrossCharles Dickens

Did you know?

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

Word History



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.


from pronominal use of divers entry 1

Note: See note at divers entry 1.

First Known Use


14th century, in the meaning defined above


1528, in the meaning defined above

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


Cite this Entry

“Divers.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/divers. Accessed 20 Feb. 2024.

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