dif·​fu·​sion·​ist di-ˈfyü-zhə-nəst How to pronounce diffusionist (audio)
: an anthropologist who emphasizes the role of diffusion in the history of culture rather than independent invention or discovery
diffusionism noun
diffusionist adjective

Examples of diffusionist in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Until relatively recently the spread of agriculture in Europe, and to some extent the whole world, was pigeon-holed into two maximalist models: cultural or demographic diffusionist. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 17 May 2011

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

Word History


diffusion + -ist entry 1, after earlier diffusionist, adjective, and diffusionism (probably after German Diffusionismus)

First Known Use

1920, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of diffusionist was in 1920

Dictionary Entries Near diffusionist

Cite this Entry

“Diffusionist.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/diffusionist. Accessed 20 May. 2024.

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