di·​ver·​sion | \ də-ˈvər-zhən How to pronounce diversion (audio) , dī-, -shən\

Definition of diversion

1 : the act or an instance of diverting or straying from a course, activity, or use : deviation Bad weather forced the diversion of several flights.
2 : something that diverts or amuses : pastime Hiking is one of her favorite diversions. a welcome diversion from the pressures of the job
3 : an attack or feint that draws the attention and force of an enemy from the point of the principal operation You create a diversion while I sneak inside the building.
4 British : a temporary traffic detour

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Examples of diversion in a Sentence

small diversions of river water for irrigation Hiking is one of my favorite diversions. Our town offers few diversions. Sports provide him with a welcome diversion from the pressures of his job. He created a diversion while his partner stole her pocketbook.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The measure is part of a strategy to deal with Oregon’s huge pot surplus and prevent diversion of unsold legal marijuana into the black market. Andrew Selsky, BostonGlobe.com, "Oregon preparing for possible interstate pot commerce," 12 June 2019 The measure is part of a strategy to deal with Oregon's huge pot surplus and prevent diversion of unsold legal marijuana into the black market. Andrew Selsky, chicagotribune.com, "Where will all that legal pot come from? Oregon hopes to be an interstate marijuana supplier.," 12 June 2019 The case was eventually dismissed in December after Arreaza and her co-defendant were approved for a pretrial diversion program. Barnini Chakraborty, Fox News, "Connecticut cops face new deadline as they try to crack case of missing mom Jennifer Dulos," 9 June 2019 Riders say the service is frequently late and can take long diversions as vehicles pick up and drop off other passengers. Paul Berger, WSJ, "MTA Hit by $321 Million Cost Increase for Paratransit Program," 25 Nov. 2018 McDonald also wants to expand pretrial diversion to help young, first-time, non-violent offenders. Kristi Nix, Houston Chronicle, "Ex-judge, former prosecutor vie in GOP primary to replace longtime Fort Bend DA," 2 Mar. 2018 Distributors were negligent and allowed an abundance of drugs to flow into Ohio, despite evidence suggesting drug diversion, the lawsuit says. Justin Madden, cleveland.com, "Ohio sues opioid distributors, says negligence flooded state with powerful painkillers," 26 Feb. 2018 At shorter length, with a less cluttered story, the film might have been a small masterpiece instead of a minor diversion. Seattle Times Staff, The Seattle Times, "12 movies open April 12 in Seattle; our reviewers weigh in," 12 Apr. 2019 These days, bomba offers a different kind of diversion. New York Times, "Bomba: The Enduring Anthem of Puerto Rico," 7 July 2018

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

1600, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for diversion

see diverse

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Statistics for diversion

Last Updated

23 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for diversion

The first known use of diversion was in 1600

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More Definitions for diversion



English Language Learners Definition of diversion

formal : the act of changing the direction or use of something : the act of diverting something
formal : something that people do because it is enjoyable, entertaining, or pleasant
: something that takes attention away from what is happening


di·​ver·​sion | \ də-ˈvər-zhən How to pronounce diversion (audio) , dī-\

Kids Definition of diversion

1 : an act or instance of changing the direction or use of diversion of the river
2 : something that relaxes, distracts, or entertains The city offers many diversions for visitors.


di·​ver·​sion | \ də-ˈvər-zhən, dī- How to pronounce diversion (audio) \

Legal Definition of diversion

: the act or an instance of diverting: as
a : an unauthorized rerouting or appropriation diversion of funds
b : suspension of the prosecution of a charge for a period of time during which the defendant participates in a rehabilitation program or makes restitution and after which the charges are dismissed if the rehabilitation or restitution is completed — compare probation

Other Words from diversion

diversionary \ -​ˈvər-​zhə-​ˌner-​ē, -​shə-​ How to pronounce diversionary (audio) \ adjective

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Comments on diversion

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