A diversion can be something that takes you off the course you are on, like a detour while you are traveling, or a game of tennis that takes you away from the stress of work.

The noun diversion and the verb divert are related. Both have to do with a change of focus or direction. When you want a break from something, many diversions are welcome, like a rousing game of “twenty questions” on a long car ride. Conversely, some diversions are unwelcome, like when the guy next to you is texting during your French midterm.

Definitions of diversion
  1. noun
    a turning aside (of your course or attention or concern)
    “a diversion from the main highway”
    synonyms: deflection, deflexion, deviation, digression, divagation
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    red herring
    any diversion intended to distract attention from the main issue
    type of:
    turn, turning
    the act of changing or reversing the direction of the course
  2. noun
    an activity that diverts or amuses or stimulates
    “scuba diving is provided as a diversion for tourists”
    synonyms: recreation
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    antic, caper, joke, prank, put-on, trick
    a ludicrous or grotesque act done for fun and amusement
    immersing the body in water or sunshine
    celebration, festivity
    any joyous diversion
    dance, dancing, saltation, terpsichore
    taking a series of rhythmical steps (and movements) in time to music
    amusement, entertainment
    an activity that is diverting and that holds the attention
    escapade, lark
    any carefree episode
    escape, escapism
    an inclination to retreat from unpleasant realities through diversion or fantasy
    eurhythmics, eurhythmy, eurythmics, eurythmy
    the interpretation in harmonious bodily movements of the rhythm of musical compositions; used to teach musical understanding
    fun, merriment, playfulness
    activities that are enjoyable or amusing
    gambling, gaming, play
    the act of playing for stakes in the hope of winning (including the payment of a price for a chance to win a prize)
    an amusement or pastime
    jest, jocularity, joke
    activity characterized by good humor
    night life, nightlife
    the activity of people seeking nighttime diversion (as at the theater, a nightclub, etc.)
    interest, pastime, pursuit
    a diversion that occupies one's time and thoughts (usually pleasantly)
    child's play, play
    activity by children that is guided more by imagination than by fixed rules
    caper, frolic, gambol, play, romp
    light-hearted recreational activity for diversion or amusement
    athletics, sport
    an active diversion requiring physical exertion and competition
    a festivity in ancient Greece at which competitors contended for prizes
    funambulism, tightrope walking
    walking on a tightrope or slack rope
    rock climbing
    the sport or pastime of scaling rock masses on mountain sides (especially with the help of ropes and special equipment)
    play in which children take the roles of father or mother or children and pretend to interact like adults
    children take the roles of physician or patient or nurse and pretend they are at the physician's office
    play in which children pretend to put out a fire
    avocation, by-line, hobby, pursuit, sideline, spare-time activity
    an auxiliary activity
    contact sport
    a sport that necessarily involves body contact between opposing players
    field sport, outdoor sport
    a sport that is played outdoors
    gymnastic exercise, gymnastics
    a sport that involves exercises intended to display strength and balance and agility
    track and field
    participating in athletic sports performed on a running track or on the field associated with it
    a sport in which participants must travel on skis
    aquatics, water sport
    sports that involve bodies of water
    sea bathing
    bathing in the sea or ocean
    sun bathing
    immersing the body in sunlight
    crew, row, rowing
    the act of rowing as a sport
    the sport of shooting arrows with a bow
    the sport of riding on a sled or sleigh
    the sport of gliding on skates
    the sport of engaging in contests of speed
    equitation, horseback riding, riding
    the sport of siting on the back of a horse while controlling its movements
    the sport of traveling on a bicycle or motorcycle
    blood sport
    sport that involves killing animals (especially hunting)
    a cooperative game in which a ball is passed back and forth
    party game
    a game to amuse guests at a party
    computer game, video game
    a game played against a computer
    pinball, pinball game
    a game played on a sloping board; the object is to propel marbles against pins or into pockets
    guessing game
    a game in which participants compete to identify some obscurely indicated thing
    ducks and drakes
    a game in which a flat stone is bounced along the surface of calm water
    mind game
    any game designed to exercise the intellect
    hare and hounds, paper chase
    an outdoor game; one group of players (the hares) start off on a long run scattering bits of paper (the scent) and pursuers (the hounds) try to catch them before they reach a designated spot
    ring-a-rosy, ring-around-a-rosy, ring-around-the-rosy
    a children's game in which the players dance around in a circle and at a given signal all squat
    prisoner's base
    a children's game; two teams capture opposing players by tagging them and taking them to their own base
    treasure hunt
    a game in which players try to find hidden articles by using a series of clues
    athletic game
    a game involving athletic activity
    sporting life
    active interest in gambling on sports events
    bet, wager
    the act of gambling
    gambling game, game of chance
    a game that involves gambling
    conviviality, jollification, merrymaking
    a boisterous celebration; a merry festivity
    a sexual escapade; an illicit affair
    coquetry, dalliance, flirt, flirtation, flirting, toying
    playful behavior intended to arouse sexual interest
    craziness, folly, foolery, indulgence, lunacy, tomfoolery
    foolish or senseless behavior
    frivolous or trifling behavior
    rowdy or boisterous play
    playful vexation
    word play
    playing on words or speech sounds
    dirty trick
    an unkind or aggressive trick
    practical joke
    a prank or trick played on a person (especially one intended to make the victim appear foolish)
    drollery, waggery
    a quaint and amusing jest
    leg-pull, leg-pulling
    as a joke: trying to make somebody believe something that is not true
    an agreeable or amusing remark
    beguilement, distraction
    an entertainment that provokes pleased interest and distracts you from worries and vexations
    entertainment that is intended to be educational
    any lavishly staged or spectacular entertainment
    entertainment with military themes in which the Department of Defense is celebrated
    night life, nightlife
    the entertainment available to people seeking nighttime diversion
    (in Spanish speaking regions) a local festival or fair, usually in honor of some patron saint
    festival, fete
    an organized series of acts and performances (usually in one place)
    blowout, gala, gala affair, jamboree
    a joyful festivity
    Ludi Saeculares, secular games
    the centennial rites and games of ancient Rome that marked the commencement of a new generation (100 years representing the longest life in a generation); observances may have begun as early as the 5th century BC and lasted well into the Christian era
    victory celebration
    a celebration following a victory in a battle or sports competition
    the act of publicly exhibiting or entertaining
    a slow section of a pas de deux requiring great skill and strength by the dancers
    break dance, break dancing
    a form of solo dancing that involves rapid acrobatic moves in which different parts of the body touch the ground; normally performed to the rhythm of rap music
    a court dance of the 16th century; consisted of short advances and retreats
    nauch, nautch, nautch dance
    an intricate traditional dance in India performed by professional dancing girls
    pavan, pavane
    a stately court dance of the 16th and 17th centuries
    dance movements that are linked in a single choreographic sequence
    a stately court dance of the 17th and 18th centuries; in slow time
    a rhythmic dance to reggae music performed by bending forward and extending the hands while bending the knees
    slam dance, slam dancing
    a form of dancing in which dancers slam into one another; normally performed to punk rock
    hoofing, step dancing
    dancing in which the steps are more important than gestures or postures
    toe dance, toe dancing
    a dance performed on tiptoe
    choreography, stage dancing
    a show involving artistic dancing
    pas seul, variation
    (ballet) a solo dance or dance figure
    duet, pas de deux
    (ballet) a dance for two people (usually a ballerina and a danseur noble)
    pas de trois
    (ballet) a dance for three people
    pas de quatre
    (ballet) a dance for four people
    social dancing
    dancing as part of a social occasion
    a Latin American dance similar in rhythm to the rumba
    ceremonial dance, ritual dance, ritual dancing
    a dance that is part of a religious ritual
    a sport adapted from jujitsu (using principles of not resisting) and similar to wrestling; developed in Japan
    spectator sport
    a sport that many people find entertaining to watch
    team sport
    a sport that involves competition between teams of players
    casting an object in order to determine an outcome randomly
    type of:
    any specific behavior
  3. noun
    an attack calculated to draw enemy defense away from the point of the principal attack
    synonyms: diversionary attack
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    diversionary landing
    an amphibious diversionary attack
    type of:
    attack, onrush, onset, onslaught
    (military) an offensive against an enemy (using weapons)
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