divertissement

noun di·ver·tisse·ment \ di-ˈvər-təs-mənt , -təz- , F dē-ver-tē-smäⁿ \

Definition of divertissement

plural divertissements play \-mən(t)s, -smäⁿ(z)\
1 : a dance sequence or short ballet usually used as an interlude
2 : divertimento 1

divertissement was our Word of the Day on 06/18/2012. Hear the podcast!

Examples of divertissement in a Sentence

  1. for visitors seeking more cerebral divertissement, the city boasts a fine performing arts center

Did You Know?

Divertissement can mean "diversion" in both English and French, and it probably won't surprise you to learn that "divertissement" and "diversion" can be traced back to the same Latin root : divertere, meaning "to turn in opposite directions." Early uses of "divertissement" in English often occurred in musical contexts, particularly opera and ballet, describing light sequences that entertained but did little to further the story. (The word's Italian cousin, divertimento, is used in a similar way.) Today "divertissement" can refer to any kind of amusement or pastime, specifically one that provides a welcome distraction from what is burdensome or distressing.

Origin and Etymology of divertissement

French, literally, diversion, from divertiss- (stem of divertir)


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of very fine texture or delicate form

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