Definition of divert in English:



  • 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’
    • ‘Both schemes will divert more traffic to William Hunter Way and there are also suggestions for junction improvements.’
    • ‘Trucks and buses were also banned from using the flyover, with commercial vehicles diverted to the roundabout underneath.’
    • ‘Junctions 33 to 34 of the M6 were closed in both directions, meaning all traffic was diverted through the city.’
    • ‘That's why they diverted the dual carriageway from the airport to avoid disturbing the fairy fort.’
    • ‘Another method employs moveable flaps in the rocket motor to divert the exhaust flow direction.’
    • ‘Keep it this way, and maybe I could divert all questions.’
    • ‘His soldiers leveled their villages and his engineers diverted and drained the water that gave the marshes life.’
    • ‘Also, the flashing must be carefully designed and constructed to direct and divert the water.’
    • ‘Planes were diverted to airfields in the Philippines and the Intrepid was knocked out of action until February 1945.’
    • ‘One option would be running a light railway or tram system over the new bridge as well as diverting lorries across it.’
    • ‘Outbound lanes will be closed and drivers diverted to detours for another week.’
    • ‘Hastily, they'd written a bill to eliminate the right to divert a river for a kayak course.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, the Garda patrol car was diverted to another incident and never reached Ballycastle that night.’
    • ‘The Chief Minister said he sees a collision course approaching but won't do anything to divert it.’
    • ‘Apparently much of the water upstream has been diverted for agricultural use.’
    • ‘When they thought that we had left, I took a full circle and diverted the car towards quarry number 1.’
    • ‘By 1920 state and private interests had carved four massive canals to divert water directly into the Atlantic Ocean and create dry farmland.’
    • ‘I'll divert more power to the shields, that should give us a little more time.’
    • ‘With such potential being diverted away from worthwhile direction, I must admit that it breaks a little bit of my heart.’
    • ‘Indeed, diverting the buses could mean that some were no longer able to go out.’
    reroute, redirect, change the course of, draw away, turn aside, head off, deflect, avert, transfer, channel
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[no object](of a vehicle or person) change course.
      ‘an aircraft has diverted and will be with you shortly’
      • ‘He told them the nature of our emergency and said we were diverting to Cherry Point, N.C.’
      • ‘Lisa quickly diverted from her lacky wannabe followers and stood by Hannah's locker.’
      • ‘Charging only on motorways alone would increase traffic on local roads as drivers would divert to avoid the charge.’
      • ‘Your author furthermore diverts from the real alternatives and moves to gas and coal.’
      • ‘Even this was false, and the aircraft then diverted to Riyan.’
      • ‘Gas and weather were no problem, so we could divert if we had to.’
      • ‘Nowadays I'll divert from my route if I sense I'm making a fellow pedestrian feel uncomfortable, man or woman.’
      • ‘Cartagena is on the north coast of Colombia, and the Master diverted there.’
      • ‘I also diverted to Dublin to check out its diving scene - more of that in a later issue.’
      • ‘Sometimes these things do not even occur because the vessels divert to somewhere else.’
      • ‘People divert from their normal route to avoid disturbing this not so rare breed!’
      • ‘Instead we happily divert to supposed ‘safe’ spots, there to be uncivilly mugged or traffic-maimed.’
      • ‘Curious, the Mistress of Freeport diverted from her course to have a closer look.’
      • ‘While some roads have been made one-way and BMTC buses diverted, congestion hasn't eased.’
      • ‘If you thought geocaching was a bit anoraky I've now diverted slightly into trigpointing.’
      • ‘The cruise liner diverted from its course to cut down the flying time of the helicopter from RAF Lossiemouth.’
      • ‘They trusted me that we could divert from the norm, do something very unusual and take that risk.’
      • ‘This survey will doubtless indicate how many private car owners have diverted to which alternative routes.’
      • ‘Many passengers are still unaware of the changes and are surprised when these buses divert from their old routes.’
      • ‘Police said the men diverted onto the Sir Solomon Hochoy Highway and then onto the Eastern Main Road.’
    2. 1.2Reallocate (money or resources) to a different purpose.
      ‘more of their advertising budget was diverted into promotions’
      • ‘Resources will be diverted into intervention and community services.’
      • ‘"Even though the quantity is not a whole lot, any waste that we can divert from landfill is helpful, " he said.’
      • ‘They do not, as far as I know, complain that a huge slice of their council tax is diverted into the coffers of the art gallery.’
      • ‘The result was an ambitious target for Essex of 65 per cent of waste diverted from landfill without incineration by 2007.’
      • ‘From now on resources will be diverted into the new versions of the PlayStation and X-Box.’
      • ‘But we could easily save money, diverting resources to more innovative management practices.’
      • ‘By using the green recycling bin, you can divert up to 25% of waste from landfill.’
      • ‘Money going towards a grant of £1, 000 a year from 2004 could also be diverted into reducing the level of fees.’
      • ‘But the money was then diverted into his own building society account and used to fund his expensive lifestyle.’
      • ‘By recycling these items they are diverted from landfill avoiding the associated environmental problems.’
      • ‘Money could be diverted into areas where it could be put to better use, such as policing hard core drugs.’
      • ‘Resources are therefore diverted into lower-value outputs, leading to a reduction in overall welfare.’
      • ‘Yet it might divert huge amounts of capital for replacing fossil fuels rapidly with alternative energy sources.’
      • ‘Also, of course, grain prices will rise as cropland is diverted to growing corn for fuel.’
      • ‘The service will see more than 100 tonnes of organic waste diverted from landfill each year.’
      • ‘In developing countries on high growth trajectories, household savings may be diverted into productive investment.’
      • ‘Spending on capital goods means that resources are diverted away from consumption and vice versa.’
      • ‘The point is that if that money were diverted into transport uses, taxation would have to be raised from other sources.’
      • ‘Precious health dollars have been diverted to pay the tax bill of a public trust.’
      • ‘Studies are on to find other alternatives and the Government should divert more funds towards this.’
  • 2Distract (someone) from something.

    ‘she managed to divert Rose from the dangerous topic of Lady Usk’
    • ‘The best trick is to momentarily divert their attention - " Hey!’
    • ‘Those who go to mosques for prayers should not allow their attention to be diverted for any reason.’
    • ‘My fear is that attention will be diverted from issues that really matter to Selby miners, such as securing better pension rights.’
    • ‘So what do they do, but divert the public's attention to social issues that they know are wrong.’
    • ‘This means trivialities that could distract or divert his focus of attention, which is winning golf tournaments, do not sidetrack him.’
    • ‘It diverts the public's attention away from decades of cuts in hard-won government programs for income security.’
    • ‘My eyes were momentarily diverted to a pile of my books at the end of my bed.’
    • ‘With Tane's attention momentarily diverted, Ferik's knee swung upwards into his stomach.’
    • ‘Her attempt to get his attention only partially diverted him.’
    • ‘Therefore, attention should not be diverted from traditional risk-lowering strategies in favor of folic acid supplementation.’
    • ‘They were satisfied to find none, and then divert all their attention to Auntie Jane.’
    • ‘I am sorry, yes, perhaps I got diverted, your Honour.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They warned that people's lives were being put at risk because firefighters were being diverted from their duties.’
    • ‘If you want to stop your baby doing something, the best way is to quickly distract and divert her onto a different activity.’
    • ‘A moment of weakness is when you divert someone's attention and throw ground habanero into their soup!’
    • ‘Then he got diverted because he got to eat rice for the first time last night in eight months because he only had wotou before.’
    • ‘For this doctrine diverts the public's attention from the core of the problem.’
    • ‘In a way it is now a silent crisis, because our attention has been diverted to other disasters.’
    • ‘Rose diverts all of her attention to the hot tea, inadvertently releasing Delilah from her magical hold.’
    distract, detract, sidetrack, lead away, draw away, be a distraction, put off, disturb someone's concentration
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1Draw the attention of (someone) away from tedious or serious concerns; entertain or amuse.
      ‘a diverting book’
      • ‘I was diverted and entertained, but never truly absorbed.’
      • ‘A diverting entertainment nonetheless, this is one book not to judge by its blocky lime-green cover or its bland layout.’
      • ‘It is endlessly diverting and can keep a simpleton like me amused for near hours on end.’
      • ‘So, suffice it to say, in one way or another Hamilton's books are sufficiently diverting, which is something I need right now.’
      • ‘A culture frantic to entertain, divert, and inform cannot drown out boredom.’
      • ‘Ultimately, though, Lessing provides a cracking good story that diverts, entertains and stimulates.’
      • ‘But some people aren't just looking to be diverted or entertained by music.’
      • ‘Sitting in the pub at lunchtime with his nibs, a pint and a good book was far more entertaining and diverting.’
      • ‘But to be entertained is to be diverted, for that is what all these activities are: diversions.’
      • ‘At their best, these tales entertain and divert.’
      • ‘Needless to say, I wanted to put the book aside, because it is not entertaining or diverting.’
      • ‘The earliest concertos composed for square piano are slight works, diverting but light weight.’
      • ‘He never concerned himself with diverting or weaving an illusory web for his audience.’
      • ‘This keeps most of the fans diverted while others buy programs, CDs and drinks.’
      • ‘The best of these books are not only diverting entertainments: they are serious explorations of human character.’
      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
      amuse, entertain, distract, titillate, delight, give pleasure to, beguile, enchant, interest, fascinate, occupy, absorb, engross, rivet, grip, hold the attention of
      View synonyms


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