Definition of divertissement in English:


Pronunciation: /dɪˈvəːtɪsmənt//ˌdiːvɛːˈtiːsmɒ̃/


  • 1A minor entertainment or diversion.

    ‘the intellectual divertissements of working men’
    • ‘If the divertissement and the etiquette were excellent derivatives, Church music had also its role to maintain.’
    • ‘That is, have we all been carried away by a desire for some kind of entertaining political divertissement?’
    • ‘The delightful tableau featured on Friday's front page, showing a pair of young ladies in the throws of an evening's divertissement, was a work of art.’
    • ‘The second program was the two-act The Two Pigeons - not seen in New York since 1963-and various other Ashton divertissements.’
    • ‘Ultimately, however, this modest divertissement is all about Busch.’
    • ‘But brevity is the soul of wit, and Lemoine's well-crafted divertissements have enchanted theatregoers for the past 22 years.’
    • ‘There is an episode with everyone in beaky white masks that I didn't quite follow, and a jazz-dance divertissement.’
    • ‘It looked magnificent and was a suitable backdrop for the divertissements of the wedding celebrations.’
    • ‘It's all on display for our divertissement in Twentieth Century Eightball.’
    • ‘However, one can't really call this great drama, but a divertissement.’
    • ‘Okay, I'll admit, Norwich entertained me on that little divertissement.’
    • ‘In contrast to Tailleferre's lightweight divertissement of a quartet, Durey's is concentrated, serious and powerful.’
    • ‘Finally we had divertissements from Napoli, a rarely-seen ballet here.’
    • ‘The negligence of religion by scientists has made the science a tool of the lust for power or a mere divertissement.’
    entertainment, amusement, recreation, pastime, game, hobby
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Ballet A short dance within a ballet that displays a dancer's technical skill without advancing the plot or character development.
      • ‘Comparing them and their comrades to booted divertissement dancers in nineteenth-century ballet is out of the question.’
      • ‘A pleasing divertissement in classical style ended the program on a lighter note.’
      • ‘A new, charming pas de cinq opened the Act III divertissements, set to a passage of Tchaikovsky music that Petipa never used.’
      • ‘The existing Bournonville repertory ranges from full-scale story ballets to divertissements and small showpieces.’
      • ‘The Tarantella was originally not part of the Grand Pas de Deux, it was intended as a divertissement or National Dance in Act One.’


Early 18th century (specifically denoting a short ballet): French, from divertiss-, stem of divertir, from Latin divertere turn in separate ways.