Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A chiefly 18th-century form of instrumental chamber music having several short movements. Also called divertissement.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. In music, a composition that has many short movements, a style that composers started to use in the Eighteenth Century.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A light and pleasing composition.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In music: A dance interpolated in an opera; an entr'acte.
  • n. A piece of chamber music, made up of several movements rather loosely combined; a suite or sonata (in the older sense).
  • n. A potpourri or fantasia.
  • n. A free episode in a fugue.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a musical composition in several movements; has no fixed form

Etymologies

Italian, from divertire, to divert, from Old French divertir; see divert.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

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  • "'Still,' said Jack, 'I am sure the Doctor's divertimento in C major will ...' He almost said 'divert our minds' but in fact ended with 'prove a compensation.'"
    --Patrick O'Brian, The Nutmeg of Consolation, 262

    March 9, 2008