diaspora

noun
di·as·po·ra | \ dī-ˈas-p(ə-)rə , 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 \ 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

Keith Ape is a member of 88 Rising, a media company that champions Asian artists from across the diaspora and facilitates collaboration with the Black artists that inspire their music. Andrew Chow, refinery29.com, "Let's Be Real: Asian And Black Artists Aren't "Celebrating" Each Other Through Hip-Hop," 22 May 2018 And so another Puerto Rican culinary legend has left a hole in the bicultural paradox of the diaspora’s need to feel connected in our world of ni de aqui, ni de alla. Illyanna Maisonet, San Francisco Chronicle, "The quest to preserve Puerto Rican culture with food," 21 May 2018 So my experience with music is full of the African diaspora. Karen Bliss, Billboard, "Aloe Blacc on 'America's Musical Journey' Doc, His Forthcoming Album & Unreleased Songs With Avicii," 20 June 2018 DeKnight’s food column was a treasure trove of recipes, cooking tips, and cultural reflections from chefs across the vast expanse of the African diaspora. Hannah Giorgis, Bon Appetit, "How Freda DeKnight’s Cookbook, ‘A Date with a Dish’ Inspired Generations of Black Cooks," 19 June 2018 The emergence of two permanent poles of Jewish life—one in Israel and one in the diaspora—offers new possibilities but also presents new challenges. William A. Galston, WSJ, "The Fracturing of the Jewish People," 12 June 2018 But like so many in the Liberian diaspora, Woewiyu has maintained a life on both sides of the Atlantic. Jeremy Roebuck, Philly.com, "Another Liberian in Delco stands trial for alleged role in brutal civil war," 11 June 2018 Despite its popularity among Haitians in the diaspora, however, konpa's distinct seductive beats has been losing some of its appeal in Haiti. Jacqueline Charles, miamiherald, "This celebration of Haitian heritage is more than just a music festival. It's a ritual | Miami Herald," 9 May 2018 Several appealing secondary characters, all from African and Eastern European diasporas, are also pulled into the effort. Will Boast, San Francisco Chronicle, "‘Happiness,’ by Aminatta Forna," 5 Apr. 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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Phrases Related to diaspora

the Diaspora

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Last Updated

11 Sep 2018

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The first known use of diaspora was in 1594

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More Definitions for diaspora

diaspora

noun

English Language Learners Definition of diaspora

: 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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More from Merriam-Webster on diaspora

Nglish: Translation of diaspora for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of diaspora for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about diaspora

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