Definition of diversionary in US English:



  • 1Intended to distract attention from something more important.

    ‘her comments are easy to dismiss as a diversionary tactic’
    ‘He planned to confuse the enemy with a diversionary attack on the Alaskan coast’
    • ‘In the south the French division mounted a diversionary amphibious raid at Kum Kale on the Asian side of the Dardanelles.’
    • ‘Determined to rescue the two, Holmes starts a diversionary fire and, in the confusion, scarpers.’
    • ‘We have heard all these diversionary arguments before, but rarely do these arguments have any merit.’
    • ‘Frequently, those solutions have been diversionary, steering the electorate away from confrontations of their own ambivalence about social change.’
    • ‘There was supposed to be a diversionary covering air strike.’
    • ‘After a series of diversionary manoeuvres, he crossed the river under cover of a thunderstorm and defeated Porus.’
    • ‘The Duke's army, circumvented by the rebels in a diversionary movement on the march south, remained intact, waiting outside Northampton for events to unfold.’
    • ‘Hitler remained convinced that the main Allied invasion of France would take place near Calais and that operations against Normandy were diversionary.’
    • ‘His leadership in directing a diversionary force at Maastricht allowed the king's main army to take the town.’
    • ‘He deployed his divisions with the aid of smoke, mirrors and diversionary activities.’
    1. 1.1 Denoting a recreational activity that diverts the mind.
      ‘a coffee break and diversionary chat with Paul’
      ‘a major issue in urban areas is that of accessible diversionary activities for young people’
      • ‘I'm hesitant to assign this film a purely diversionary purpose, but is it designed to teach the virtue of self-reliance, or the simple pleasures of constructive play?’
      • ‘This really is a title better suited for Spider Man fans looking for some diversionary gameplay.’
      • ‘The archness doesn't really get in the way of the crime fighting, but it does lift this book from potentially boring to perfectly diversionary summer reading.’
      • ‘American pop culture is filled with remnants of television series whose impact was little more than diversionary and trivial.’
      • ‘Here, for your approval, is just a sampling of some of the most appealing diversionary choices currently offered on your TV.’
      • ‘Mini-games such as Crush the Carrier are fresh, but prove nothing more than minor diversionary undertakings.’
      • ‘The developers seemed to be conscious this would be primarily a diversionary game.’
      • ‘It's not the kind of record I'd want to listen to at home - it's diversionary and fun, sometimes even great, but not very deep.’
      • ‘Secondly, it's not comprised of mini-games or other diversionary elements.’
      • ‘Youth clubs have also been given money to pay for diversionary activities such as discos and barbecues to get young people off the streets.’
  • 2Having the effect of turning something aside from its course.

    ‘the challenge of lowering the lake isn't just technical—diversionary tunnels could drain it’
    • ‘At any time today, there are a dozen Hope Vale people either in prison, or who would be in prison without diversionary measures.’
    • ‘Other reasons may include the lack of adequate diversionary options where we can divert people with minor charges out of the criminal justice system into psychiatric care.’
    • ‘The height of the diversionary structure will allow water exceeding a two-year flood stage to flow onto an adjacent flood plain.’
    • ‘Government must allocate extra funding to provide even more of these diversionary programs to give some hope to the juveniles responsible for much of the in-town disturbances.’
    • ‘Where occasional water flowing onto or across a site cannot be avoided, it can often be made harmless by diversionary banks, directing the flow into drains.’
    • ‘Detailed discussions should follow in order to consider any modifications to the scheme which may assist in reducing the costs of diversionary works.’
    • ‘Diversionary tunnels were dug from the cavities to aqueducts filling the reservoirs, which were lined with lime.’
    • ‘To partially rectify this system new diversionary cables were laid to circumvent the target conurbations.’
    • ‘A diversionary channel is still being used to flow the river around the work site.’
    1. 2.1British Denoting an alternative route for use by traffic when the usual road is temporarily closed.
      ‘motorists are advised to follow the signed diversionary route’
      • ‘What may look like a simple journey across town can become a nightmare diversionary trek via rail replacement bus services.’
      • ‘The Golden Valley Line serves as a diversionary line for several other lines in the area as well as serving its normal traffic.’
      • ‘The death of a child, mown down by a speeding sponsor in 2000, led the organisers to push as much traffic as they can on to diversionary routes.’
      • ‘Diversionary loops also create extra track capacity for freight trains, enabling many more lorries to be taken off the roads.’
      • ‘This recognises its importance for current passenger traffic and as a diversionary route when engineering takes place on the west coast main line.’
      • ‘it is important to establish a network of diversionary rail lines not only across the region but also across the country.’
      • ‘The closures have meant gridlock in places, but pre-planned highways contingencies have been put into operation and diversionary routes publicised where possible.’
      • ‘At Sadiapani village, land was acquired for a diversionary railway line, as the existing one will be submerged.’
      • ‘A further amount is being spent on a temporary diversionary bridge.’