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 students, who haven't been identified, had initially been directed to a social justice diversion training program instead of facing charges in the Tuesday attack, according to the protesters. NBC News, "Two arrested in racist attack on black student at University of Arizona," 14 Sep. 2019 The charges were later dropped after a pre-trial diversion program, court records show. Lauren Del Valle, CNN, "A Florida judge denies parents custody of 4-year-old son with leukemia," 9 Sep. 2019 Syed pleaded guilty and was placed in a diversion program in August 2018. Josh Verges, Twin Cities, "St. Paul school board candidate ineligible due to felony drug charges, records show," 6 Sep. 2019 Van Aken previously released Vincent into a pretrial diversion program, where he was provided with a place to sleep and mental health treatment while checking in regularly with a case worker. Dominic Fracassa, SFChronicle.com, "Judge rules to keep suspect in Embarcadero attack behind bars," 29 Aug. 2019 The Deseret News reports the county’s criminal justice diversion program is expected to reduce the county prison population. USA TODAY, "Momoa at Mauna Kea, Confederate context, Guthrie garbage tribute: News from around our 50 states," 2 Aug. 2019 NW Eighth Avenue: The diversion pipe for the creek under Cornelius Pass Road has been installed. oregonlive, "Portland metro Friday traffic: Rain extends I-5 paving project hours near Salem," 13 Sep. 2019 The former Orlando firefighter who was accused of recording City Commissioner Regina Hill during an August 2017 medical call has entered into a pretrial diversion agreement, court records show. Ryan Gillespie, orlandosentinel.com, "Former Orlando firefighter accused of recording Commissioner Regina Hill gets pretrial diversion," 11 Sep. 2019 Julianne March, 49, of Waukesha, Wisconsin, reached a pretrial diversion agreement that includes alcohol abuse evaluation and counseling during her Thursday initial hearing. chicagotribune.com, "Flight attendant accused of being intoxicated on Chicago-to-South Bend flight agrees to undergo alcohol abuse counseling," 30 Aug. 2019

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

13 Oct 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

What made you want to look up diversion? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a topic to which one constantly reverts

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