di·​verge | \ də-ˈvərj How to pronounce diverge (audio) , dī- \
diverged; diverging

Definition of diverge

intransitive verb

1a : to move or extend in different directions from a common point : draw apart diverging roads
b : to become or be different in character or form The friends' lives diverged after graduation. : differ in opinion This is where our views diverge.
2 : to turn aside from a path or course : deviate diverge from a direct path
3 mathematics : to be divergent (see divergent sense 2)

transitive verb

: deflect diverge a compass needle

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Choose the Right Synonym for diverge

swerve, veer, deviate, depart, digress, diverge mean to turn aside from a straight course. swerve may suggest a physical, mental, or moral turning away from a given course, often with abruptness. swerved to avoid hitting the dog veer implies a major change in direction. at that point the path veers to the right deviate implies a turning from a customary or prescribed course. never deviated from her daily routine depart suggests a deviation from a traditional or conventional course or type. occasionally departs from his own guidelines digress applies to a departing from the subject of one's discourse. a professor prone to digress diverge may equal depart but usually suggests a branching of a main path into two or more leading in different directions. after school their paths diverged

Examples of diverge in a Sentence

A prism causes rays of light to diverge. They were close friends in college, but after graduation, their lives diverged.
Recent Examples on the Web The parallel stories that diverge from that day find the same Joe with different careers — as a rock star (Yes, Wolk can sing), a nurse and a cop — not to mention a variety of romantic and familial relationships. Jeanne Jakle, San Antonio Express-News, 22 Sep. 2021 This new drama unfolds as three parallel narratives that diverge as different versions of him experience the rest of his life resulting from versions of that decision. Los Angeles Times, 20 Sep. 2021 What interests me are the scents that diverge from the norm and feel singular in their intent. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, 20 Aug. 2021 Teachers who diverge from the curriculum could face suspension or have their registration revoked. Washington Post, 14 July 2021 Then there are people who diverge from that typicality, and those people are neurodivergent. Evan Ramzipoor, Forbes, 21 May 2021 The three parallel stories that diverge from that night find Joe and the people around him with different careers, relationships and family lives, showing the unexpected ways that things change — and stay the same. Lynette Rice, EW.com, 14 May 2021 In Western European capitals, the pact provides yet another reminder of how Washington’s interests diverge from their own and that the European Union may have to play second fiddle as the United States shifts its strategic focus further toward Asia. Washington Post, 17 Sep. 2021 When the sexes diverge in coloring, females often have drabber colors. Sara Tabin, Forbes, 8 Sep. 2021

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

1665, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for diverge

borrowed from Latin dīvergere "to proceed in different directions," from dī-, variant before voiced sounds of dis- dis- + vergere "to move downward, slope downward, sink" — more at verge entry 3

Note: The verb dīvergere, attested once in classical Latin, is rare before later medieval and modern Latin, where it appears in scientific and mathematical texts, often as an antonym of convergere "to converge."

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Time Traveler for diverge

Time Traveler

The first known use of diverge was in 1665

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Last Updated

18 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Diverge.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/diverge. Accessed 27 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for diverge



English Language Learners Definition of diverge

: to split and move out in different directions from a single point
: to be or become different

More from Merriam-Webster on diverge

Nglish: Translation of diverge for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of diverge for Arabic Speakers


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