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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

County officials have also tried to reduce the number of calls that must be diverted. oregonlive, "Portland aims to dispatch better first responders for homelessness calls," 14 Sep. 2019 The big three The DEA mounted a crusade against Internet pharmacies and corrupt doctors and then took on the companies making and distributing the opioids to prevent drugs from being diverted to the black market. Anchorage Daily News, "‘Tactic 8’ in the secret drug industry plan to defeat the DEA: Find a champion in Congress," 14 Sep. 2019 Alaska Airlines: Social media updates indicate that some of Alaska’s SFO flights are being diverted to other airports, including San Jose and Oakland. Patrick May, The Mercury News, "What you need to know about delays at SFO — and how to possibly avoid them," 10 Sep. 2019 But the National Parks Conservation Association, a non-profit organization that supports park activities, said about $10 million of fee money was improperly diverted to pay for day-to-day maintenance. Ledyard King, USA TODAY, "'Abuse of trust': Trump administration blasted for illegally maintaining national parks during shutdown," 7 Sep. 2019 Parents who drop off a car seat at the service desk during that time can feel good knowing that it'll be taken apart, and each little bit of it will be diverted from landfills. Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, "Walmart's Car Seat Recycling Program Means Savings for Parents — Here's How to Get Some Money Back," 29 Aug. 2019 For a start, many drug distributors and pharmacies, mesmerised by growing sales, failed to take action, as they are obliged to, when signs emerged that opioids were being diverted for illicit use. The Economist, "Legal settlements alone will not solve America’s opioid crisis," 29 Aug. 2019 Traffic is being diverted to State Road 24 eastbound or Interstate 980 westbound, officials said. Anna Bauman, SFChronicle.com, "I-580 lanes in Oakland closed due to police activity," 27 Aug. 2019 Despite those efforts, the county still has thousands of people in custody who realistically can’t be diverted to community programs or services, experts say, and many of them need mental health treatment while in jail. Matt Stiles, Los Angeles Times, "‘No more jails,’ just mental health centers. Is that a realistic policy for L.A. County?," 26 Aug. 2019

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.

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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

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Statistics for divert

Last Updated

17 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for divert

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

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More Definitions for divert



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


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

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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

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involving a confidence or trust

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