di·​as·​po·​ra dī-ˈa-sp(ə-)rə How to pronounce diaspora (audio)
capitalized, Judaism
: the Jews living outside Israel
members of the Diaspora
: the settling of scattered communities of Jews outside ancient Palestine after the Babylonian exile
: the area outside ancient Palestine settled by Jews
: people settled far from their ancestral homelands
members of the African diaspora
: the place where these people live
: the movement, migration, or scattering of a people away from an established or ancestral homeland
the Black diaspora to northern cities
diasporic adjective

Did you know?

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 Homeland connections The Punjabi diaspora is centered in Brampton and Surrey, in greater Toronto and Vancouver respectively. Sara Miller Llana, The Christian Science Monitor, 31 May 2024 In 1899, Japanese agricultural farmers aboard the Sakura Maru ship arrived in Peru — the first Latin American country to establish diplomatic relations in Asia — giving birth to an entirely unique diaspora. Andrea Flores, Los Angeles Times, 30 May 2024 Image While many in the diaspora have thrown themselves into campaigning, others have taken a more hands-off approach. John Yoon, New York Times, 30 May 2024 The airport greeting was an emotional conduit for Colorado’s contingent of the Palestinian diaspora, who’ve watched for months as death and horror has mounted in Gaza. Seth Klamann, The Denver Post, 21 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for diaspora 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'diaspora.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1594, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

Time Traveler
The first known use of diaspora was in 1594

Dictionary Entries Near diaspora

Cite this Entry

“Diaspora.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/diaspora. Accessed 14 Jun. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!