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 Zach’s latkes help re-create that same festive atmosphere here in the diaspora. Bon Appétit, "Add Leeks to Your Latkes. Never Look Back.," 1 Dec. 2020 Some Namibians in the diaspora also joined the protests online, showing solidarity by using the hashtag #LegalizeAbortionNA. Aisha Salaudeen, CNN, "Abortion is legal in Namibia, but only if a woman is in danger or has been sexually abused. Activists are demanding reform," 26 Nov. 2020 The protesters are expressing deep anger at the aggression of the police unit and their campaign has drawn support from Nigerians in the diaspora, as hundreds have also marched in cities like Toronto, Paris, London and New York. Philip Obaji Jr., USA TODAY, "Nigeria's #EndSARS protesters draw inspiration from Black Lives Matter movement," 26 Oct. 2020 According to Khushbu Shah, the restaurant editor of Food & Wine, in the last decade, Indian restaurant food has undergone a renaissance, thanks largely to the Indian diaspora and the internet, which enabled the access to new sources of inspiration. Sheila Marikar, New York Times, "The Fed-Up Chef," 21 Oct. 2020 Until companies expand their offerings in south Asia, though, testing will be restricted to the diaspora. Bhavya Dore, Quartz, "Despite mixed results, south Asian adoptees turn to DNA tests," 20 Oct. 2020 The red, black, and green colors of the candles represent the people of the African diaspora, our blood, and our hope for the future, respectively. Riche Holmes Grant, Better Homes & Gardens, "Food, Decor, Traditions: The Meaningful Ways My Family Celebrates Kwanzaa," 19 Nov. 2020 Over the decades, celebrants have increasingly introduced food of the African diaspora to their feasts, such as Southern soul food and Caribbean dishes. Corinne Sullivan, Woman's Day, "Everything to Know About Kwanzaa Food, From What It Is to What It Means," 6 Nov. 2020 The show presents a primer, too, on the links between hip-hop and Afrofuturism, the aesthetic philosophy that combines cultural features of the African diaspora with futuristic technology. Washington Post, "From Basquiat to ‘Black Panther’: How graffiti went mainstream," 27 Oct. 2020

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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Time Traveler for diaspora

Time Traveler

The first known use of diaspora was in 1594

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Statistics for diaspora

Last Updated

5 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Diaspora.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/diaspora. Accessed 5 Dec. 2020.

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More Definitions for diaspora


How to pronounce diaspora (audio)

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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