diaspora

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noun di·as·po·ra \ dī-ˈas-p(ə-)rə , dē- \

Definition of diaspora

1 capitalized Judaism
a :the settling of scattered colonies of Jews outside ancient Palestine after the Babylonian exile
b :the area outside ancient Palestine settled by Jews
c :the Jews living outside Palestine or modern Israel
  • members of the diaspora
2 a :the movement, migration, or scattering of a people away from an established or ancestral homeland
  • the black diaspora to northern cities
b :people settled far from their ancestral homelands
  • members of the African diaspora
c :the place where these people live

diasporic

play \ˌdī-ə-ˈspȯr-ik\ adjective

Recent Examples of diaspora from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'diaspora.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

The Beginnings of the Word diaspora

Until recently diaspora was thought to be a fairly new word in English to describe a very old thing (its first, and principal, meaning relates to the settling of the Jewish people outside of Palestine after the Babylonian exile thousands of years ago). However, recent research has found that the word is quite a bit older than previously thought. It can be found as far back as 1594, in a translation of Lambert Daneau’s A Fruitfull Commentarie vpon the Twelue Small Prophets: “This scattering abrode of the Iewes, as it were an heauenly sowing, fell out after their returne from the captiuitie of Babylon … they are called Diaspora, that is, a scattering or sowing abrode.” Diaspora is descended from the Greek word diaspeirein, meaning “to scatter, spread about.”

Origin and Etymology of diaspora

Greek, dispersion, from diaspeirein to scatter, from dia- + speirein to sow



DIASPORA Defined for English Language Learners

diaspora

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noun

Definition of diaspora for English Language Learners

  • : a group of people who live outside the area in which they had lived for a long time or in which their ancestors lived



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