di·​ver·​sion·​ary də-ˈvər-zhə-ˌner-ē How to pronounce diversionary (audio)
: 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 state legislature in March approved two bipartisan bills that boosted funding for detention center salaries, facility upgrades and mental health care, including the establishment of a diversionary program that would send youths suffering from mental illnesses to facilities for treatment. Daniel Wu, Washington Post, 22 Jan. 2024 Since then, Pinto has introduced a sweeping set of proposals to tackle and prevent crime as well as to create a task force to review diversionary programs that could keep nonviolent misdemeanor offenders out of jail. Tim Carman, Washington Post, 10 Nov. 2023 If not, Peltz will have his work cut out for him at the proxy ballot box as a diversionary illusionist. Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, Fortune, 7 Nov. 2023 When the Chinese economy falters, the danger is not diversionary war. M. Taylor Fravel, Foreign Affairs, 15 Sep. 2023 Indeed, concerns about China using aggression as a diversionary tactic are perennial. M. Taylor Fravel, Foreign Affairs, 15 Sep. 2023 Connecticut lawmakers passed a bill that expands diversionary programs in the state and encourages police to direct children to juvenile review boards instead of court proceedings. Amanda Hernandez, Anchorage Daily News, 3 Sep. 2023 Hopefully, Ramaswamy’s GOP rivals and political reporters can avoid his diversionary maneuvers–and focus on the truth. Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, Fortune, 31 Aug. 2023 The profound state-society conflict that has ensued since then may provoke the regime to look for a diversionary battle. Mohammad Ayatollahi Tabaar, Foreign Affairs, 10 Apr. 2023 See More

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

Word History


diversion + -ary entry 2

First Known Use

1846, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of diversionary was in 1846

Dictionary Entries Near diversionary

Cite this Entry

“Diversionary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/diversionary. Accessed 21 Feb. 2024.

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