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From Middle English diverten, Old French divertir (to turn or go different ways, part, separate, divert), from Latin di- (apart) + vertere (to turn); see verse.



divert (third-person singular simple present diverts, present participle diverting, simple past and past participle diverted)

  1. (transitive) To turn aside from a course.
    The workers diverted the stream away from the road.
    • 1960 February, R. C. Riley, “The London-Birmingham services - Past, Present and Future”, in Trains Illustrated, page 99:
      Many of the remaining trains have been retimed and where possible freight trains have also been diverted to alternative routes.
  2. (transitive) To distract.
    Don't let him divert your attention; keep your eye on the ball.
  3. (transitive) To entertain or amuse (by diverting the attention)
    • 1871, Charles John Smith, Synonyms Discriminated
      We are amused by a tale, diverted by a comedy.
  4. (obsolete, intransitive) To turn aside; to digress.


  • (to lead away from a course): offlead

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