di·​ver·​si·​ty də-ˈvər-sə-tē How to pronounce diversity (audio)
plural diversities
: the condition of having or being composed of differing elements : variety
especially : the inclusion of people of different races (see race entry 1 sense 1a), cultures, etc. in a group or organization
programs intended to promote diversity in schools
: an instance of being composed of differing elements or qualities : an instance of being diverse
a diversity of opinion

Example Sentences

Another factor in Burns' rise has been the strength and depth of Xerox's commitment to diversity. One-third of Xerox's 3,819 executives are women and 22% are minorities. Nanette Byrnes et al., Business Week, 8 June 2009
Jim, a lanky, bearded 35-year-old, knows a lot about heirloom fruits and vegetables. He works with the Southern Seed Legacy in Athens, Georgia, an organization devoted to preserving the seeds of heirloom plants in order to restore some of the genetic diversity that industrial agriculture has eroded over the years. Gary Paul Nabhan, Saveur, October 2009
Even more eccentric is the treatment of the British Empire. Stretching over three centuries and six continents, you might have expected that its extent, duration, and diversity would have made it immune to facile interpretation. David Gilmour, New York Review, 2 Nov. 2006
The media flood the nation's editorial markets with testimonies to the piebald character of the American democracy jumbled together from a wonderful diversity of colors, creeds, and cultural dispensations, which is a swell story, but in the United States Senate not one visible to the naked eye. Lewis H. Lapham, Harper's, March 2005
The handsome creatures have hooked the interest of evolutionists and ecologists because of their dazzling diversity of shapes, behaviors, and feeding habits, which include nibbling the fins and scales of other fish. Science, 26 Nov. 2004
The island has more diversity in plant life than other islands nearby. The city is known for its cultural diversity. The school aims for diversity in its student population. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Ultranauts believes that, like biodiversity in ecosystems, diversity at work leads to more resilient teams capable of thriving in dynamic environments. Anna Oakes, Quartz, 16 May 2023 Reruns and cancellations begin as striking WGA writers picket May 3, 202302:18 There are signs that diversity behind the screen influences viewership. J.j. Mccorvey, NBC News, 16 May 2023 Biologists collected the platypuses from various populations in southeastern New South Wales to help ensure genetic diversity. Sarah Kuta, Smithsonian Magazine, 15 May 2023 The new law prohibits state universities from spending state or federal funds on diversity, equity, and inclusion programs, which are widely recognized as crucial in combating implicit bias and providing support for students or employees who are members of a minority community. Tori Otten, The New Republic, 15 May 2023 Tabia Lee’s ouster at De Anza College has become a flashpoint over diversity and inclusion policies on U.S. campuses. Nanette Asimov, San Francisco Chronicle, 14 May 2023 The winner of every category is decided on by a jury, unlike the BAFTA film awards, which is something many suggest leads to greater diversity. Carly Thomas, The Hollywood Reporter, 14 May 2023 Williams’ statement on behalf of the board also credited Oubré with steering the campus through the COVID-19 pandemic and an eight-year reaccreditation process, and expanding efforts to improve diversity, equity and inclusion. Teresa Watanabe, Los Angeles Times, 13 May 2023 One of the main reasons for the increase in racial and ethnic diversity is immigration. BostonGlobe.com, 12 May 2023 See More

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

Word History


Middle English dyversite "difference, separateness, variety," borrowed from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French diverseté, diversité, borrowed from Latin dīversitāt-, dīversitās "separateness, condition of being different, difference of opinion," from dīversus "turned in different directions, situated apart, differing" + -itāt-, -itās -ity — more at diverse

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of diversity was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near diversity

Cite this Entry

“Diversity.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/diversity. Accessed 29 May. 2023.

Kids Definition


di·​ver·​si·​ty də-ˈvər-sət-ē How to pronounce diversity (audio)
plural diversities
: the condition of being different
: an instance or a point of difference

Legal Definition


di·​ver·​si·​ty də-ˈvər-sə-tē, dī- How to pronounce diversity (audio)

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