di·​ver·​sion·​ary | \də-ˈvər-zhə-ˌner-ē, dī-, -shə-\

Definition of diversionary 

: tending to draw attention away from the principal concern : being a diversion

Examples of diversionary in a Sentence

This is nothing more than a diversionary tactic to distract attention from the issues.

Recent Examples on the Web

The group provides support for community members who have had, or plan to have, diversionary bowel and bladder surgery. Linda Mcintosh, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Families with hospitalized kids served ...community news," 27 June 2018 Alexander applied for the family violence education program, a diversionary program for first-time domestic violence offenders whose cases are deemed to be not too serious. David Owens, courant.com, "Judge Denies Former State Rep Alexander's Effort To Avoid Prosecution In Assault Case," 5 July 2018 The reduced jail incarceration rate was achieved through reforms including faster case processing, reduced reliance on money bail and expanded diversionary courts, Municipal Court President Judge Marsha Neifeld said. Samantha Melamed, Philly.com, "Philly to close crumbling House of Correction as jail population declines," 18 Apr. 2018 McCune believes a mixture of law enforcement and diversionary long-term treatment is the best approach to solving the crisis. Sean Robinson, The Seattle Times, "Pierce County prepares to ban safe-injection sites before anyone suggests them," 18 Mar. 2018 Police are not disclosing details of why the boys brought weapons to school, but said Wednesday that both have been referred to a diversionary program in the juvenile justice system. Don Stacom, Courant Community, "DiLoreto Staff Should Have Told Parents About Knife Incident Sooner, New Britain Superintendent Says," 16 May 2018 No amount of diversionary talk over other evidence can now change that. Kimberley A. Strassel, WSJ, "What Is the FBI Hiding?," 5 Apr. 2018 But studies of such diversionary programs are showing them to be more effective at preventing and reducing crime than the usual expulsions and prison sentences. Mimi Swartz, New York Times, "How Does Empathy Work? A Writer Explores the Science and Its Applications," 24 Apr. 2018 According to The Advocate, a judge granted Wilkos admission to the diversionary program on Monday during a hearing in Stamford Superior Court. Tyler Mccarthy, Fox News, "Steve Wilkos' drunk driving charge may be erased from his record," 23 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'diversionary.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of diversionary

1846, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about diversionary

Share diversionary

Statistics for diversionary

Last Updated

14 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for diversionary

The first known use of diversionary was in 1846

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for diversionary



English Language Learners Definition of diversionary

: tending or intended to take attention away from someone or something important

More from Merriam-Webster on diversionary

See words that rhyme with diversionary

Britannica English: Translation of diversionary for Arabic Speakers

Comments on diversionary

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


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!