“Avert” means to prevent something from happening, while “divert” means to change the course of something that is already happening. In other words, avert is usually used in the context of avoiding something, while diverting is usually used in the context of redirecting something.
Divert and Avert
When you avert something, you prevent it from happening. You can avert your eyes to avoid seeing something unpleasant. When you divert something, you change its course. You might divert a river to make way for a new highway.
Definition of each word
Avert: To turn away or aside; to prevent by means of some action
Divert: To change the course, direction, or attention of; to turn aside; to distract
How to use each word
When you want to say that someone did something in order to prevent something else from happening, you can use the word avert. For example, “He averted his gaze from the sun.” In this sentence, the person is looking away from the sun in order to prevent himself from being blinded by its brightness.
If you want to say that someone changed the course of something, you can use the word divert. For example, “The river was diverted away from the city.” In this sentence, the river has been rerouted so that it flows around the city instead of through it.
Avert: To turn away or aside; to avoid (usually followed by from).
Averted her gaze from the unseemly scene.