divertissement

noun di·ver·tisse·ment \ di-ˈvər-təs-mənt , -təz- , F dē-ver-tē-smäⁿ \
|Updated on: 5 Jun 2018

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

Recent Examples of divertissement from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'divertissement.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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)


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to emit the high shrill tone of bagpipes

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
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!