I was watching Flushed Away (2006) . In one scene (00:20:46) The Toad says

I know you'll find it diverting.

and a minute later (00:21:57) Roddy says :

Yes. I'd love to see more of your collection. It's very amusing, but l...

which makes the Toad angry. I looked it up in Longman dictionary and it says diverting means:

entertaining and amusing

It looks like they have the same meaning. So, here is my question: what's the difference between "Amusing" and "Diverting"?

  • 1
    When something is diverting it has sufficient interest to capture your attention for a while and take your mind off other things; it may delight and instruct; when something is amusing, you laugh at it. – TRomano Jan 18 '15 at 15:06

Diverting has a broader application than amusing: semantically speaking, amusing is a subset of diverting (and diverting has essentially the same meaning as entertaining).

However, they do not all occupy the same register: diverting is more highfaluting than both amusing and entertaining.

  • I've just been amusing the stream of water running down our path from the melting snow. – Edwin Ashworth Jan 18 '15 at 13:52
  • @EdwinAshworth - Sounds like more fun than amuserticulitis. – Erik Kowal Jan 18 '15 at 16:55
  • We are not diverted. – Edwin Ashworth Jan 18 '15 at 19:12

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