Definition of divert in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /dʌɪˈvəːt/
Pronunciation: /dɪˈvəːt/


[with object]
1Cause (someone or something) to change course or turn from one direction to another: a scheme to divert water from the river to irrigate agricultural land
More example sentences
  • With such potential being diverted away from worthwhile direction, I must admit that it breaks a little bit of my heart.
  • Another method employs moveable flaps in the rocket motor to divert the exhaust flow direction.
  • By 1920 state and private interests had carved four massive canals to divert water directly into the Atlantic Ocean and create dry farmland.
reroute, redirect, change the course of, draw away, turn aside, head off, deflect, avert, transfer, channel
1.1 [no object] (Of a vehicle or person) change course: an aircraft has diverted and will be with you shortly
More example sentences
  • Curious, the Mistress of Freeport diverted from her course to have a closer look.
  • Police said the men diverted onto the Sir Solomon Hochoy Highway and then onto the Eastern Main Road.
  • The cruise liner diverted from its course to cut down the flying time of the helicopter from RAF Lossiemouth.
1.2Reallocate (money or resources) to a different purpose: more of their advertising budget was diverted into promotions
More example sentences
  • Resources will be diverted into intervention and community services.
  • From now on resources will be diverted into the new versions of the PlayStation and X-Box.
  • Money could be diverted into areas where it could be put to better use, such as policing hard core drugs.
2Distract (someone) from something: she managed to divert Rose from the dangerous topic of Lady Usk
More example sentences
  • As memes evolve, they become better and better at distracting and diverting us from whatever we'd really like to be doing with our lives.
  • If you want to stop your baby doing something, the best way is to quickly distract and divert her onto a different activity.
  • Her attempt to get his attention only partially diverted him.
distract, detract, sidetrack, lead away, draw away, be a distraction, put off, disturb someone's concentration
2.1 (usually as adjective diverting) Draw the attention of (someone) away from tedious or serious concerns; entertain or amuse: a diverting book
More example sentences
  • Sitting in the pub at lunchtime with his nibs, a pint and a good book was far more entertaining and diverting.
  • Needless to say, I wanted to put the book aside, because it is not entertaining or diverting.
  • I was diverted and entertained, but never truly absorbed.
amuse, entertain, distract, titillate, delight, give pleasure to, beguile, enchant, interest, fascinate, occupy, absorb, engross, rivet, grip, hold the attention of
informal tickle someone's fancy, tickle pink, bowl over, be a hit with
archaic recreate
entertaining, amusing, fun, enjoyable, pleasurable, pleasing, pleasant, agreeable, delightful, appealing, beguiling, captivating, engaging, interesting, fascinating, intriguing, absorbing, riveting, compelling;
humorous, funny, chucklesome, witty, droll, comical, hilarious



Example sentences
  • His passion for climatology is divertingly geeky, and delivers his fondest musings.
  • So Simple's chorus features a vocal divertingly speeded up to a cartoon squeak.
  • This disc has little of the wildly inventive eclecticism of his solo production efforts or DJ sets, but it's a divertingly quirky stop-gap.


Late Middle English: via French from Latin divertere, from di- 'aside' + vertere 'to turn'.

Words that rhyme with divert

advert, alert, animadvert, assert, avert, Bert, blurt, Burt, cert, chert, concert, controvert, convert, curt, desert, dessert, dirt, exert, flirt, girt, hurt, inert, insert, introvert, Kurt, malapert, overt, pert, quirt, shirt, skirt, spirt, spurt, squirt, Sturt, subvert, vert, wort, yurt

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: di¦vert

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.