di·​ver·​sion·​ary | \ də-ˈvər-zhə-ˌner-ē How to pronounce diversionary (audio) , 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 Hines-Brim settled her case and entered into a diversionary program, officials said. James Queally, Los Angeles Times, "L.A. Black Lives Matter leader sues city, ex-LAPD Chief Beck, alleging wrongful arrest," 11 Feb. 2020 When large predators defend their food caches, ravens call in other flock members to engage in diversionary tactics for gaining access to the food. Onur Güntürkün, Scientific American, "“Birdbrain” Turns from Insult to Praise," 1 Jan. 2020 Buck’s weak arguments excusing Trump’s behavior signal a cynical belief that the people of Colorado aren’t smart enough to see through his diversionary rhetoric. Dp Opinion, The Denver Post, "Letters: Rep. Ken Buck’s job with the impeachment hearings (12/17/19)," 17 Dec. 2019 Democrats have portrayed it as a diversionary tactic and an attempt to undermine a leading 2020 Democratic presidential contender. Frank E. Lockwood, Arkansas Online, "Hunter Biden financial details sought in Arkansas paternity suit," 12 Dec. 2019 The district has diversionary programs, including community service. Tony Holt, Arkansas Online, "Black students' suspensions draw central Arkansas suit," 23 Nov. 2019 The group provides support to community members who have undergone or will undergo diversionary bowel or bladder surgeries. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Local Sierra Club marks environmental milestones," 21 Aug. 2019 The university said in a statement Tuesday that Zangrillo’s filing was a diversionary tactic meant to deflect attention from his criminal indictments, an assertion Weinberg contests. Cnn.com Wire Service, The Mercury News, "USC admissions officials considered family potential to donate money, court filings say," 4 Sep. 2019 Another player might be exalted as a hero for challenging the powers that be over helmet rules that are — let’s be honest — loosely backed and were likely enacted as part of a diversionary public retaliations tactic. Dieter Kurtenbach, The Mercury News, "Raiders camp return just another scene in Antonio Brown’s contrived melodrama," 13 Aug. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of diversionary

1846, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for diversionary

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The first known use of diversionary was in 1846

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Statistics for diversionary

Last Updated

18 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Diversionary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/diversionary. Accessed 22 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for diversionary


How to pronounce diversionary (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of diversionary

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

More from Merriam-Webster on diversionary

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with diversionary

Britannica English: Translation of diversionary for Arabic Speakers

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