diffusion

noun

dif·​fu·​sion di-ˈfyü-zhən How to pronounce diffusion (audio)
1
: the state of being spread out or transmitted especially by contact : the action of diffusing
the diffusion of knowledge
2
3
a
chemistry : the process whereby particles of liquids, gases, or solids intermingle as the result of their spontaneous movement caused by thermal (see thermal entry 1 sense 1b) agitation and in dissolved substances move from a region of higher to one of lower concentration
b physics
(1)
: reflection of light by a rough reflecting surface
(2)
: transmission of light through a translucent material : scattering
4
: the spread of cultural elements from one area or group of people to others by contact
5
photography : the softening of sharp outlines in an image
diffusional adjective

Examples of diffusion in a Sentence

the author's tendency toward diffusion makes the novel a tedious read
Recent Examples on the Web The adoption of a diffusion engine was a major source of concern since these tend to be prone to hallucinations. John Timmer, Ars Technica, 8 May 2024 Similarly, Apple’s diffusion model for Image Playground and Genmoji also uses adapters to get different art styles like illustration or animation (which makes people and pets look like cheap Pixar characters). Umar Shakir, The Verge, 13 June 2024 This allows the diffusion module to take the inexact locations described by relative positions and convert them into exact predictions of the location of every atom in the protein. John Timmer, Ars Technica, 8 May 2024 The pattern of diffusion was determined by a complex combination of politics, history, and geography. Foreign Affairs, 16 Aug. 2012 See all Example Sentences for diffusion 

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

Word History

Etymology

Middle English diffusioun "outpouring (of speech)," borrowed from Late Latin diffūsiōn-, diffūsiō "pouring out (of liquids), watering of the eyes, abundance" (Latin, "geniality"), from Latin diffud-, variant stem of diffundere "to pour out over a wide surface, spread out, extend" + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of verbal action — more at diffuse entry 2

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of diffusion was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near diffusion

Cite this Entry

“Diffusion.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/diffusion. Accessed 18 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

diffusion

noun
dif·​fu·​sion dif-ˈyü-zhən How to pronounce diffusion (audio)
1
: a diffusing or a being diffused
2
: the mixing of particles of liquids, gases, or solids so that they move from a region of high concentration to one of lower concentration
3
: the scattering of light by reflection from a rough surface or by passage through a translucent material (as frosted glass)

Medical Definition

diffusion

noun
dif·​fu·​sion dif-ˈyü-zhən How to pronounce diffusion (audio)
1
: the process whereby particles of liquids, gases, or solids intermingle as the result of their spontaneous movement caused by thermal agitation and in dissolved substances move from a region of higher to one of lower concentration
2
a
: reflection of light by a rough reflecting surface
b
: transmission of light through a translucent material
diffusional adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on diffusion

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!