divert

verb
di·​vert | \ də-ˈvərt How to pronounce divert (audio) , dī-\
diverted; diverting; diverts

Definition of divert

intransitive verb

: to turn aside : deviate studied law but diverted to diplomacy

transitive verb

1a : to turn from one course or use to another : deflect divert traffic to a side street diverting funds to other projects
b : distract trying to divert her attention
2 : to give pleasure to especially by distracting the attention from what burdens or distresses children diverting themselves with their toys

Keep scrolling for more

Choose the Right Synonym for divert

amuse, divert, entertain mean to pass or cause to pass the time pleasantly. amuse suggests that one's attention is engaged lightly. amuse yourselves while I make dinner divert implies distracting attention from worry or routine occupation especially by something funny. a light comedy to divert the tired businessman entertain suggests supplying amusement by specially contrived methods. a magician entertaining children at a party

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

This new special documents the story of British King George VI’s elaborate ruse to divert German attention from the Normandy landings in 1944. Ed Stockly, latimes.com, "What's on TV Wednesday: ‘Grown-ish’ on Freeform," 4 June 2019 But who cares about a profound lack of evidence when your aim is to divert attention from the legitimate conclusions of the Mueller report? Lynn Yaeger, Vogue, "The Week in Washington: First Amendment Threats and Grotesque Taunts," 26 May 2019 Jason Marczak, director of the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center, told Fox News the explosions afforded Maduro the chance to divert attention from the numerous problems facing Venezuela. Elizabeth Llorente, Fox News, "Alleged attack on Maduro allows him to crack down harder on opposition, experts say," 6 Aug. 2018 The hearing exposed clear partisan divides in the House judiciary and oversight committees, as Democrats accused Republicans of trying to divert attention from Trump's ties to Russia through an excessive focus on Strzok. Author: Eric Tucker, Mary Clare Jalonick, Anchorage Daily News, "FBI agent clashes with GOP at hearing on Russia probe," 13 July 2018 Whether the first lady anticipated - or was warned - that her outerwear would divert attention from what her staff described as a humanitarian mission, her choice to wear it in public seems to be deliberate. Emily Heil, chicagotribune.com, "Why didn't someone stop Melania from wearing that jacket? That's not how this White House works.," 23 June 2018 There isn't a coaching search to divert Divac's attention. Jason Jones, sacbee, "The fate of Vlade Divac and the Kings hinges on getting this draft right," 20 June 2018 And finally, Trump has attempted to divert attention back to Clinton’s deleted emails and her private email server, a topic of much discussion during the 2016 campaign. Ryan Teague Beckwith, Time, "Read the 191 Arguments President Trump Has Made Against the Mueller Investigation," 7 June 2018 And while awards shows find ways to divert all the attention to everything but the awards, the Beeries tend to stay keenly focused on the music — or rather, the music videos. Michael Andor Brodeur, BostonGlobe.com, "Cowboy up! The CMT Awards are here.," 4 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'divert.' 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 divert

15th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for divert

Middle English, from Middle French & Latin; Middle French divertir, from Latin divertere to turn in opposite directions, from dis- + vertere to turn — more at worth

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about divert

Statistics for divert

Last Updated

13 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for divert

The first known use of divert was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for divert

divert

verb

English Language Learners Definition of divert

: 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

verb
di·​vert | \ də-ˈvərt How to pronounce divert (audio) , dī-\
diverted; diverting

Kids Definition of divert

1 : to turn from one path or use to another Police diverted traffic.
2 : to turn the attention away : distract Bagman opened his mouth to ask Harry something, but Percy diverted him.— J. K. Rowling, Goblet of Fire
3 : to give pleasure to : amuse Paint and paper diverted the children.
di·​vert | \ də-ˈvərt, dī- How to pronounce divert (audio) \

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

Other Words from divert

diverter noun

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on divert

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with divert

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for divert

Spanish Central: Translation of divert

Nglish: Translation of divert for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of divert for Arabic Speakers

Comments on divert

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

WORD OF THE DAY

behavior toward others

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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