: made up of an indefinite number greater than one : various.
1. “He is … descended from the issue of Dudleys who managed to escape Bloody Mary’s ax as well as the divers other perils of Tudor England.” — From an article by Christopher Buckley in the Architectural Digest, April 1989.
2. “The tale that unfolds touches on such divers themes as a world-wide terror conspiracy, bioweapons, automated submarine drones, a Vatican spy, and even the lost kingdom of Atlantis.” — From a book review by Gloria Feit in the Reviewer’s Bookwatch, May 1, 2013.
DID YOU KNOW?
Did you think we had misspelled “diverse”? We didn’t! “Divers” is a word in its own right, albeit a fairly formal and uncommon one. Both words come from Latin “diversus,” meaning “turning in opposite directions,” and until around 1700 they were pretty much interchangeable—both meant “various” and could be pronounced as either DYE-verz (like the plural of the noun “diver”) or dye-VERSS. Both words still carry the “various” meaning, but these days “divers” (now DYE-verz) is more likely to emphasize multiplicity (as in “on divers occasions”), whereas “diverse” (now dye-VERSS) usually emphasizes uniqueness. “Diverse” typically means either “dissimilar” (as in “a variety of activities to appeal to the children’s diverse interests”) or “having distinct or unlike elements or qualities” (“a diverse student body”).