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

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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

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 Don’t miss the Bank of the Nile food area, which sells dishes from across the African diaspora: think egusi soup from Nigeria, jollof rice from Senegal, jerk-style proteins from the Caribbean, and Cajun flavors from closer to home. Antonio Basada, Condé Nast Traveler, "5 Things to Do in Chicago This Labor Day," 31 Aug. 2018 There were years of subsequent debate about balancing the interests of liberal and Orthodox Jews, of Israel and the diaspora. Abraham Riesman, Daily Intelligencer, "Can Rabbi Rick Jacobs Save Liberal Zionism in the Age of Netanyahu?," 9 Apr. 2018 The Netherlands has said extortion and threats of force against its large Eritrean diaspora is a sensitive issue that is high on the country’s political agenda. Edith M. Lederer, The Seattle Times, "UN lifts sanctions on Eritrea, keeps arms embargo on Somalia," 14 Nov. 2018 The Pacific islands, lost in the empty ocean, came late in our diaspora. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "Read an excerpt from Kim Stanley Robinson’s next book," 18 Oct. 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

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

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