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Definition to change the direction of something; or to distract someone's attention

or more rarely:  to change the purpose for which something is used — such as an army or funds

Even more rarely, divert can mean to entertain.
  • I tried to divert her attention.
divert = get her to start thinking about something else
  • A fool and water will go the way they are diverted.
    African Proverb
  • The ambulance was diverted to another hospital because of overcrowding in the emergency room at the closest one.
  • diverted = sent in another direction
  • It was the reward of two hours of walking aimlessly around a hardware store to divert suspicion.
    S.E. Hinton  --  The Outsiders
  • divert = change the direction of
  • He diverted the waterfall straight into the giant's face.
    Rick Riordan  --  The Son of Neptune
  • diverted = changed the direction of
  • Juan Tomas went out among the neighbours to divert their suspicions,
    John Steinbeck  --  The Pearl
  • divert = to change someone's attention
  • But may I not venture to suggest that you will find my idea of sport more diverting than Ivan's?
    Richard Connell  --  The Most Dangerous Game
  • diverting = entertaining
  • If neither one gets through, we have shots farther back which can be diverted—for example easy to shift targets among Delaware-Bay-Chesapeake-Bay group.
    Robert A. Heinlein  --  The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
  • diverted = sent in another direction; or used for another purpose
  • What if another Griever got Alby after I diverted the one chasing me?
    James Dashner  --  The Maze Runner
  • diverted = distracted (the attention) and changed the direction of
  • This diverted the pain from deep inside his brain, where he couldn't reach it, to a pain outside that he had control over.
    Jay Asher  --  Thirteen Reasons Why
  • diverted = changed the direction of
  • It was only a tiny disturbance anyway—not strong enough to divert her from the ambition welling in her now:
    Toni Morrison  --  Beloved
  • divert = distract (change the direction of attention)
  • Both street and air traffic had been diverted from the usually choked avenue, and the media was thronged like a busy parade across the wide street.
    J.D. Robb  --  Glory in Death
  • diverted = directed away (from usual routes through the area)
  • "Second," he said loudly, ignoring me, "try to divert them by mentioning anything about your therapist."
    Sarah Dessen  --  Someone Like You
  • divert = change the direction of something
  • and wishing, though it were only for a second, to divert the vision's stony gaze from himself.
    Charles Dickens  --  A Christmas Carol
  • divert = to change the direction of someone's attention
  • I have explained that you can weaken his prayers by diverting his attention from...
    C.S. Lewis  --  The Screwtape Letters
  • diverting = changing the direction of
  • But I endeavoured to divert him from this design, by many arguments drawn from the topics of policy as well as justice;
    Jonathan Swift  --  Gulliver's Travels
  • divert = to change the direction of someone's thinking
  • We merely want to divert the bus from its course for a few minutes.
    Robert Cormier  --  After the First Death
  • divert = change the direction of something
  • Montag had only a glimpse, before Faber, seeing Montag's attention diverted, turned quickly and shut the bedroom door and stood holding the knob with a trembling hand.
    Ray Bradbury  --  Fahrenheit 451
  • diverted = changed the direction of something or of someone's attention
  • But I must not allow questions of School Board politics to divert me from my subject.
    Abbott, Edwin  --  Flatland
  • Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.
    Albert Einstein

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