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divert
used in Middlemarch

7 uses
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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
  • I await the expression of your sentiments with an anxiety which it would be the part of wisdom (were it possible) to divert by a more arduous labor than usual.
    Book 1 — Miss Brooke (32% in)
  • Mr. Casaubon apparently did not care about building cottages, and diverted the talk to the extremely narrow accommodation which was to be had in the dwellings of the ancient Egyptians, as if to check a too high standard.
    Book 1 — Miss Brooke (24% in)
  • It had not occurred to Lydgate that he had been a subject of eager meditation to Rosamond, who had neither any reason for throwing her marriage into distant perspective, nor any pathological studies to divert her mind from that ruminating habit, that inward repetition of looks, words, and phrases, which makes a large part in the lives of most girls.
    Book 2 — Old and Young (42% in)
  • Meanwhile tiny Miss Noble carried on her arm a small basket, into which she diverted a bit of sugar, which she had first dropped in her saucer as if by mistake; looking round furtively afterwards, and reverting to her teacup with a small innocent noise as of a tiny timid quadruped.
    Book 2 — Old and Young (45% in)
  • He had a certain shame about his neighbors' errors, and never spoke of them willingly; hence he was not likely to divert his mind from the best mode of hardening timber and other ingenious devices in order to preconceive those errors.
    Book 3 — Waiting for Death (4% in)
  • Mrs. Cadwallader's eyes, diverted from the churchyard, saw a good deal of dumb show which was not so intelligible to her as she could have desired, and could not repress the question, "Who is Mr. Ladislaw?"
    Book 4 — Three Love Problems (6% in)
  • No notion could have been falser than this, for Rosamond's discontent in her marriage was due to the conditions of marriage itself, to its demand for self-suppression and tolerance, and not to the nature of her husband; but the easy conception of an unreal Better had a sentimental charm which diverted her ennui.
    Book 8 — Sunset and Sunrise (21% in)

There are no more uses of "divert" in Middlemarch.

Typical Usage  (best examples)
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