Definition of divert
: to turn aside : deviate studied law but diverted to diplomacy
2 : to give pleasure to especially by distracting the attention from what burdens or distresses children diverting themselves with their toys
Examples of divert in a sentence
Police diverted traffic to a side street.
The stream was diverted toward the farmland.
They were charged with illegally diverting public funds for private use.
He lied to divert attention from the real situation.
They're only proposing the law to divert attention from important issues.
Did You Know?
The Roman circus was used to provide diversion for its citizens—and sometimes to divert their attention from the government's failings as well. The diversion was often in the form of a fight—men pitted against lions, bears, or each other—and the audience was sure to see blood and death. A diverting evening these days might instead include watching the same kind of mayhem on a movie screen.
Origin and Etymology of divert
Middle English, from Medieval French & Latin; Medieval French divertir, from Latin divertere to turn in opposite directions, from dis- + vertere to turn — more at worth
First Known Use: 15th century
Synonym Discussion of divert
DIVERT Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of divert for English Language Learners
: to change the direction or use of (something)
: to take (attention) away from someone or something
: to take the attention of (someone) away from something or someone
DIVERT Defined for Kids
Definition of divert for Students
Word Root of divert
The Latin word vertere, meaning “to turn” or “to change,” and its form versus give us the roots vert and vers. Words from the Latin vertere have something to do with turning or changing. Anything versatile, or able to do or be used for many different things, can change its task easily. A vertebra is a bone in the spine that allows an animal to turn its head or body. To avert is to turn away. To divert is to turn aside onto a new path. To revert is to turn back to a former way of being.
Legal Definition of divert
1 : to turn from one course or use to another funds illegally diverted
2 : to place (a defendant) under a diversion
Seen and Heard
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