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

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 This was a woman, after all, who told Valentino and Calvin Klein to make bigger-sized clothing, and this was in the ’70s, when size diversity was unacceptable. Los Angeles Times, 4 Jan. 2022 The show hits lots of demographics, but for Martha Millan, who portrays De la Rosa’s sister-in-law Fiona, the casting of Southeast Asian leads and the show’s overall diversity is to be applauded. Adrienne Gibbs, Forbes, 3 Jan. 2022 Robbins thinks that increasing forest diversity will be a protective factor against bark beetle attacks. Jennifer Clare Ball, Wired, 17 Dec. 2021 Genetic diversity in the U.S. population of Mexican gray wolves is alarmingly low and genetic connectivity between wolves in Mexico and the U.S. is important for their long-term survival. Martha Pskowski, USA TODAY, 17 Dec. 2021 This increasing diversity was just one way the pandemic altered the Art Basel Miami Beach fair’s first in-person gathering since 2019. New York Times, 4 Dec. 2021 The law school's racial diversity also was a draw, school officials said. NBC News, 2 Dec. 2021 But the directors also warned that diversity is not simply about demographics. Phil Wahba, Fortune, 1 Dec. 2021 In a bid to be more inclusive at a time when diversity is at the forefront of industry discussion, the Best Male Artist and Best Female Artist awards have been replaced by a single award for Best Artist. Alicia Vrajlal, refinery29.com, 23 Nov. 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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The first known use of diversity was in the 14th century

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diversity factor

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Last Updated

13 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Diversity.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/diversity. Accessed 24 Jan. 2022.

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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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