diaspora

noun
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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Continental Roots The story of Morocco’s successful qualification is perhaps the best modern illustration of how nations have turned to a global diaspora to achieve success in soccer. Tariq Panja, New York Times, "In Morocco, an Imported Team for the World Cup," 5 June 2018 Venezuela's growing diaspora is also increasing pressure from abroad. Jim Wyss, miamiherald, "What you need to know about Venezuela's presidential election | Miami Herald," 20 May 2018 The diaspora of ex-Noma chefs stretches halfway across the world, and in Copenhagen there is an entire tier of restaurants, pubs, noodle shops and taquerias run by Noma alumni. Jonathan Gold, latimes.com, "The world's most influential restaurant reinvents itself. Jonathan Gold tastes the changes," 2 Mar. 2018 The entire population is now packed into an area less than a square mile, and a population that once numbered around 400 is now down to 100, as the climate issues have led to a diaspora to higher ground. John Wenz, Popular Mechanics, "An American Village Is Being Abandoned Because of Rising Seas," 17 Mar. 2016 The costumes collectively reflect the voice of the African diaspora and how African Americans feel about their heritage. Candice Frederick, Harper's BAZAAR, "Black Panther's Ruth E. Carter on Designing for the Revolution," 18 Feb. 2019 Many people fled during decades of economic and political turmoil under Mugabe, although there are no official figures of Zimbabweans in the diaspora. Cara Anna, Fox News, "A guide to Zimbabwe's 1st post-Robert Mugabe election," 27 July 2018 The audience was made up mostly of skullcap-wearing Jews and Republican-leaning evangelical Christians who hardly share the values or politics of Israel’s secular majority, let alone the liberal-leaning Jewish diaspora. Washington Post, "Israel at 70: Contrasting images of victory and violence," 15 May 2018 And, like Hurston, Lawson’s fullest subject is the diaspora itself. Rachel Aviv, The New Yorker, "Deana Lawson’s Kingdom of Restored Glory," 8 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for diaspora

diaspora

noun

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on diaspora

What made you want to look up diaspora? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to move or proceed with twists and turns

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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