Definitions

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

  • intransitive v. To diverge at a wide angle; spread apart.
  • adj. Biology Branching or spreading widely from a point or axis, as branches or on an insect's wings; diverging.
  • adj. Relating to a separation of two bones normally adjacent or attached but not located in a joint; distatic.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. to spread apart; to diverge, to branch off

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To part into two branches; to become bifid; to fork.
  • intransitive v. To diverge; to be divaricate.
  • transitive v. To divide into two branches; to cause to branch apart.
  • adj. Diverging; spreading asunder; widely diverging.
  • adj. Forking and diverging; widely diverging; as the branches of a tree, or as lines of sculpture, or color markings on animals, etc.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To spread or move apart; branch off; turn away or aside; diverge: with from: as, to divaricate from the will of God.
  • Specifically
  • In botany and zoology, to branch off at an obtuse angle; diverge widely.
  • To divide into branches; cause to diverge or branch apart.
  • In botany, branching off, as from a stem or axis, at or almost at a right angle; widely divergent.
  • In zoology, divergent at any considerable angle; standing off or apart from one another; spreading away, as two parts of something; forked, or forficate: specifically applied to the wings of insects when they are incumbent on the body in repose, but spreading apart toward their tips.

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

  • v. branch off
  • v. spread apart

Etymologies

Latin dīvāricāre, dīvāricāt- : dī, dis-, dis- + vāricāre, to straddle (from vārus, bent).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Latin divaricat-, past participle stem of divaricare, from di- + varicare ("stretch (the legs) apart"), from varicus ("straddling"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • To get up again, his most successful way was to make a run from behind and _divaricate_ on to the horse's tail, like a boy playing at leap-frog; but the beast was always frightened, and bolted before he was well on.

    Memoir and Letters of Francis W. Newman

  • Racemes two, both sessile, or one sessile and the other pedicelled on a peduncle which is more or less sheathed by a proper spathe, divaricate or deflexed.

    A Handbook of Some South Indian Grasses

  • Spikelets less compressed, linear or linear-oblong; lateral nerves less prominent; not fascicled, long pedicellate and divaricate when ripe.

    A Handbook of Some South Indian Grasses

  • The _inflorescence_ is a diffuse panicle 4 to 14 inches long with filiform, divaricate, scaberulous, angled branches; the main _rachis_ is angular, smooth below and scaberulous above; peduncle is cylindric, striate, 2 to 12 inches long.

    A Handbook of Some South Indian Grasses

  • The former is a tall plant with very narrow panicle and spikelets and the latter either tall or short and with a panicle bearing very slender divaricate branches.

    A Handbook of Some South Indian Grasses

  • Stems are many, tufted, slender, creeping and rooting, or ascending and suberect, simple or branched, 6 to 20 inches long and leafy and leaves bifarious and divaricate.

    A Handbook of Some South Indian Grasses

  • Divergent: spreading out from a common base; in Coleoptera, tarsal claws are divergent when they spread out only a little; divaricate when they separate widely.

    Explanation of Terms Used in Entomology

  • He conjured up a vision of this strange forgotten kink in the world's littoral, of the long meandering channels that spread and divaricate and spend their burden of mud and silt within the thunderbelt of Atlantic surf, of the dense tangled vegetation that creeps into the shimmering water with root and sucker.

    Tono Bungay

  • By a judicious blow in that spot where the ribs divaricate he could right well tie his adversary into a bow-knot, but this string of white lawn was a most damnable thing.

    The Place of Honeymoons

  • The book fell upon her knees, and dreamily she watched the perspective open and divaricate.

    Parrot & Co.

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