di·​ver·​sion də-ˈvər-zhən How to pronounce diversion (audio)
: the act or an instance of diverting or straying from a course, activity, or use : deviation
Bad weather forced the diversion of several flights.
: something that diverts or amuses : pastime
Hiking is one of her favorite diversions.
a welcome diversion from the pressures of the job
: 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.
British : a temporary traffic detour

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.
Recent Examples on the Web Studies show diversion programs like this are usually more effective than traditional punishment at keeping kids from re-offending. Sammy Caiola, NPR, 4 June 2024 Sunset’s Insider Guide series highlights seasonal diversions and secret travel tips from local experts. Krista Simmons, Sunset Magazine, 3 June 2024 On Thursday, he was approved for pre-trial diversion by the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office, records show. Devoun Cetoute, Miami Herald, 17 May 2024 Lake levels fluctuate ― with climate change bringing big swings Runoff and precipitation add water to Lake Michigan, with evaporation and diversions removing water. Tom Daykin, Journal Sentinel, 16 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for diversion 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'diversion.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English dyversioun "process of diverting superfluous humors," borrowed from Late Latin dīversiōn-, dīversiō "turning away," from Latin dīvertere "to separate oneself (from), be different" and dēvertere "to turn away, divert" + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of verbal action — more at divert

First Known Use

1600, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of diversion was in 1600

Dictionary Entries Near diversion

Cite this Entry

“Diversion.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/diversion. Accessed 20 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


di·​ver·​sion də-ˈvər-zhən How to pronounce diversion (audio)
: the act or an instance of diverting or turning aside
: something that relaxes, amuses, or entertains

Legal Definition


di·​ver·​sion də-ˈvər-zhən, dī- How to pronounce diversion (audio)
: the act or an instance of diverting: as
: an unauthorized rerouting or appropriation
diversion of funds
: 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
diversionary adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on diversion

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