dif·​fu·​sive di-ˈfyü-siv How to pronounce diffusive (audio)
: tending to diffuse : characterized by diffusion
diffusive motion of atoms
diffusively adverb
diffusiveness noun
diffusivity noun

Examples of diffusive in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Current physical-collapse models suggest that this diffusive motion is only very slight. Philip Ball, Quanta Magazine, 20 Oct. 2022 Choose ambient light sources muffled by diffusive domes or lampshades. Kim Komando, USA TODAY, 8 Aug. 2022 The effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive. New York Times, 30 Apr. 2020 The right of suffrage was much more diffusive in the Northern than the Southern States; and the latter could have no influence in the election on the score of the Negroes. Ellen McGirt, Fortune, 2 Mar. 2020 The push to involve every corner of the space often has an unintentionally diffusive effect. Chris Jones, chicagotribune.com, 13 Mar. 2018 The same basic phenomenon, called double-diffusive convection, creates layers of water in the ocean. Joanna Klein, New York Times, 12 Dec. 2017 Of course, Calvin Klein the fashion mega-house is strong as ever with a cult figure, Raf Simons, at the helm and many still-successful diffusive branches—underwear, jeans, home, fragrance. Lili Göksenin, GQ, 26 Oct. 2017 See More

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

Word History


borrowed from Medieval Latin diffūsīvus, from Latin diffūsus, past participle of diffundere "to pour out over a wide surface, spread out, extend" + -īvus -ive — more at diffuse entry 2

First Known Use

1600, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of diffusive was in 1600

Dictionary Entries Near diffusive

Cite this Entry

“Diffusive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/diffusive. Accessed 27 Sep. 2023.

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