\ \ [13] Diverse is one of a small family of English words, including also divers, divert, and divorce, which come ultimately from Latin dīvertere. This was a compound verb formed from the prefix dis- ‘aside’ and vertereturn’ (source of English verse, version, vertebra, etc and related to worth), and hence meant literally ‘turn aside, turn out of the way’. It developed in various metaphorical directions, however. One was ‘turn one’s husband or wife out of the way’ which, via the variant dīvortere, gave English divorce [14]. The central sense of the verb passed more or less unchanged into English, via French divertir, as divert [15], but its past participle diversus illustrates a further metaphorical strand, in which ‘turned aside’ has become ‘separate, different’. English acquired this via Old French in the 13th century in two distinct forms: masculine divers and feminine diverse. The present-day semantic distinction between the former (‘various, several’) and the latter (‘different’) had established itself by around 1700.

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • diverse — di·verse adj: differing from one another; specif: differing in citizenship from another party to an action a diverse defendant see also diversity jurisdiction at jurisdiction compare nondiverse …   Law dictionary

  • Diverse — Di verse (?; 277), a. [The same word as divers. See {Divers}.] 1. Different; unlike; dissimilar; distinct; separate. [1913 Webster] The word . . . is used in a sense very diverse from its original import. J. Edwards. [1913 Webster] Our roads are… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Diverse FM — City of license Luton Broadcast area Luton, Dunstable Houghton Regis Frequency 102.8 MHz First air date 2007 Transmitter coordinates …   Wikipedia

  • diverse — diverse, divers Both words once shared the meaning now confined to diverse, i.e. ‘varied, unalike’, qualifying singular and plural nouns, as in • Why is it so diverse, so varied in its character? J. Houston, 1990 • Can a single author cover the… …   Modern English usage

  • diverse — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ widely varied. DERIVATIVES diversely adverb. ORIGIN Latin diversus diverse , from divertere (see DIVERT(Cf. ↑diverting)) …   English terms dictionary

  • Diverse — Di*verse , adv. In different directions; diversely. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Diverse — Di*verse , v. i. To turn aside. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] The redcross knight diverst, but forth rode Britomart. Spenser. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • diverse — diverse:⇨einige(1) …   Das Wörterbuch der Synonyme

  • diverse — c.1300, spelling variant of DIVERS (Cf. divers) (q.v.), perhaps by analogy with converse, traverse, etc. In some cases directly from L. diversus, and since c.1700 restricted to the meaning different in character or quality. Related: Diversely …   Etymology dictionary

  • diverse — *different, divergent, disparate, various Analogous words: contrasted or contrasting (see corresponding verb at COMPARE): contrary, *opposite, contradictory: *distinct, separate Antonyms: identical, selfsame Contrasted words: *same, equivalent,… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • diverse — [adj] different; various assorted, contradictory, contrary, contrasted, contrasting, contrastive, differing, discrete, disparate, dissimilar, distant, distinct, divergent, diversified, diversiform, incommensurable, like night and day*, manifold,… …   New thesaurus

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