di·​as·​po·​ra | \ dī-ˈa-sp(ə-)rə How to pronounce diaspora (audio) , dē-\

Definition of diaspora

1 capitalized, Judaism

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

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Other Words from diaspora

diasporic \ ˌdī-​ə-​ˈspȯr-​ik How to pronounce diasporic (audio) \ adjective

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.”

Examples of diaspora in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

When it is explored in depth, our cuisine reveals the nuances of regions and peoples, and those of diaspora and return. New York Times, "Yewande Komolafe’s 10 Essential Nigerian Recipes," 26 June 2019 Founded in 2014, Hakhel’s mission is to spark and support new expressions of Jewish life in the diaspora by nurturing the growth of intentional communities with advisers, seed funding and network building. Sergio Carmona, sun-sentinel.com, "President/founder of Miami organization of Jewish mothers attends Hakhel Israel mission," 20 June 2019 The government has been running a massive marketing campaign targeting African Americans and the diaspora, and various events have been arranged. Albert N. Kimbu, Quartz Africa, "The problem with Ghana’s Year of Return diaspora campaign to boost tourism," 8 Aug. 2019 Wendell Nii Laryea Adjetey, a historian of the United States and African diaspora, is currently the W.L. Mackenzie King fellow and lecturer at Harvard University. Wendell Nii Laryea Adjetey, Twin Cities, "Wendell Nii Laryea Adjetey: Why now is the moment to atone for 400 years of racism," 28 July 2019 In 2000, with about 20 locations in India, Saravana Bhavan ventured overseas, opening in neighborhoods where the Indian diaspora had a strong presence. Amie Tsang, BostonGlobe.com, "P. Rajagopal, Indian restaurateur convicted of murder, dies at 71," 25 July 2019 At the Street of Hungarian Flavors celebration, across the Danube, artisan chefs showed off traditional foodstuffs from across the Hungarian state and the diaspora, still unredeemed, beyond its borders. Jacob Mikanowski, Harper's magazine, "The Call of the Drums," 21 July 2019 For those of the Indian diaspora, the sari felt weighed down by nostalgia, stuck in old traditions. Meara Sharma, Vogue, "Why I Am Taking the Sari Back to the Street," 30 Apr. 2019 In the past few years, scandals involving the Indian diaspora in Persian Gulf countries have shaken citizens. Vidhi Doshi, Washington Post, "Orange is the new blue: Why India wants to color-code its passports," 15 Jan. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of diaspora

1594, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

History and Etymology for diaspora

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

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More Definitions for diaspora



English Language Learners Definition of diaspora

formal : 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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Comments on diaspora

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concealment of treason or felony

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