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

Essential Meaning of diversity

1 : the quality or state of having many different forms, types, ideas, etc. The island has more diversity in plant life than other islands nearby. biological/genetic/linguistic diversity There was some diversity of opinion about what should be done. [=people had different opinions about what should be done]
2 : the state of having people who are different races or who have different cultures in a group or organization The city is known for its cultural/ethnic diversity. The school aims for diversity in its student population.

Full Definition of diversity

1 : 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
2 : an instance of being composed of differing elements or qualities : an instance of being diverse a diversity of opinion

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Examples of diversity in a Sentence

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web As a result, transformation at Phillips 66 is not just a digital change but a cultural one, focusing more on diversity, inclusion, and building trust within the communities where Phillips 66 operates. Judith Magyar, Forbes, 14 Oct. 2021 Alumni say the ad is divisive and contrary to the Delaware, Ohio, liberal arts school’s values of diversity and inclusion. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 13 Oct. 2021 And the business school can’t rest on its past successes, but needs to keep pace with broader societal changes, including more emphasis on diversity and lifelong learning options beyond the two-year master’s program. BostonGlobe.com, 12 Oct. 2021 Many shows have taken the extra step of hiring people to oversee equity, diversity and inclusion efforts. Rebecca Rubin, Variety, 12 Oct. 2021 Early tallies suggested that shareholders had signed off on a nonbinding proposal to cut board members’ terms to one year, from three, and a call to publish additional information on Tesla’s diversity and inclusion efforts. Rob Copeland, WSJ, 8 Oct. 2021 The partnership is aimed at tackling issues of diversity and equity both within the organization and across the entertainment industry. Josh Rottenberg, Los Angeles Times, 7 Oct. 2021 The ongoing internal problems led to a meeting Saturday of the ASC board, at which the company authorized a nine-month contract with equity, diversity and inclusion consultant Joseph Toni Castañada Carrera. Washington Post, 6 Oct. 2021 The Nobel Prize’s abysmal record on diversity is a second guide star for speculators. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, 5 Oct. 2021

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for diversity

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

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Time Traveler for diversity

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

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diversity factor

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Last Updated

16 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Diversity.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/diversity. Accessed 23 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for diversity


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

Kids Definition of diversity

: the condition or fact of being different The island has great diversity in its plant life.


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

Legal Definition of diversity

More from Merriam-Webster on diversity

Nglish: Translation of diversity for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of diversity for Arabic Speakers


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