diffusion

noun
dif·fu·sion | \ di-ˈfyü-zhən \

Definition of diffusion 

1 : the state of being spread out or transmitted especially by contact : the action of diffusing the diffusion of knowledge

3a 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

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Other words from diffusion

diffusional \-ˈfyü-zhə-nᵊl \ adjective

Examples of diffusion in a Sentence

the author's tendency toward diffusion makes the novel a tedious read

Recent Examples on the Web

Her research interests include contentious politics, digital media and the diffusion of ideas. Julia Rone, Washington Post, "Bulgaria’s turn to lead the Council of the European Union just ended. How did things go?," 5 July 2018 What hasn’t always been true, though, is the diffusion of talent across the running-back and wide-receiver positions. Michael Beller, SI.com, "Tips to Help You Ace Any Fantasy Football Draft," 4 July 2018 His playing, particularly on the newest songs, is interestingly precise and constrained, with an almost staccato attack at times that seems in contrast to the cosmic diffusion of the music overall. John Adamian, courant.com, "From Sam Hunt And Reba To U2 And King X: A Week Of Big-Name Concerts," 23 June 2018 The fact that there is almost no gender homophily has consequences for information diffusion and also for data privacy. Andrea Anderson, Scientific American, "Friends of Friends Can Reveal Hidden Information about a Person," 14 June 2018 For example, the K-25 gaseous diffusion building in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, was completed in 1945 at a cost of $500 million. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Uranium enrichment will be a key point in talks with North Korea. Here’s what it is.," 11 June 2018 The researchers thoroughly tested the children’s reading skills and assessed their brain architecture using diffusion magnetic resonance imaging. Susan Pinker, WSJ, "New Skills Build New Brain Architecture, Research Shows," 14 June 2018 Bureaucracies are excellent blame-diffusion machines. Justin Davidson, Daily Intelligencer, "A Year Has Passed Since the Grenfell Tower Fire. It Could Happen Again Anytime.," 14 June 2018 The centrifuges themselves don’t take up much floor space, so their plants have a much smaller physical footprint than gaseous diffusion facilities. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Uranium enrichment will be a key point in talks with North Korea. Here’s what it is.," 11 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'diffusion.' 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 diffusion

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for diffusion

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

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Statistics for diffusion

Last Updated

3 Aug 2018

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Time Traveler for diffusion

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

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More Definitions for diffusion

diffusion

noun
dif·fu·sion | \ di-ˈfyü-zhən \

Kids Definition of diffusion

1 : the act of spreading or allowing to spread freely

2 : the mixing of particles of liquids or gases so that they move from a region of high concentration to one of lower concentration

diffusion

noun
dif·fu·sion | \ dif-ˈyü-zhən \

Medical Definition of diffusion 

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

2a : reflection of light by a rough reflecting surface

b : transmission of light through a translucent material

Other words from diffusion

diffusional \-ˈyüzh-nəl, -ən-ᵊl \ adjective

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Comments on diffusion

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