divert

To divert means to shift or turn from one thing to another. A magician might attempt to divert your attention as he shoves the rabbit into the hat.

The police will divert traffic if there has been an accident that blocks the road, and it's a good idea to divert some of your income into a savings account so you don't spend it all. Are you throwing a surprise party for a friend at his house? Have a neighbor divert him for a little while if he comes home early so that you can finish getting ready. While these uses concern physically guiding something to a different location, divert can also be used to mean "distract" or "entertain." If your friend can't stop worrying about her grades, you might want to divert her with the latest school gossip.

Definitions of divert
  1. verb
    turn aside; turn away from
    synonyms: deviate
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    types:
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    yaw
    deviate erratically from a set course
    detour
    travel via a detour
    depart, digress, sidetrack, straggle
    wander from a direct or straight course
    hunt
    yaw back and forth about a flight path
    type of:
    turn
    change orientation or direction, also in the abstract sense
  2. verb
    send on a course or in a direction different from the planned or intended one
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    types:
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    route
    divert in a specified direction
    deviate
    cause to turn away from a previous or expected course
    perturb
    cause a celestial body to deviate from a theoretically regular orbital motion, especially as a result of interposed or extraordinary gravitational pull
    perturb
    disturb or interfere with the usual path of an electron or atom
    shunt
    provide with or divert by means of an electrical shunt
    type of:
    direct, send
    cause to go somewhere
  3. verb
    withdraw (money) and move into a different location, often secretly and with dishonest intentions
    synonyms: hive off
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    type of:
    draw, draw off, take out, withdraw
    remove (a commodity) from (a supply source)
  4. verb
    occupy in an agreeable, entertaining or pleasant fashion
    synonyms: amuse, disport, regale
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    type of:
    entertain
    provide entertainment for
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