Definition of diffusion in English:


Syllabification: dif·fu·sion
Pronunciation: /diˈfyo͞oZHən


  • 1The spreading of something more widely: the diffusion of Duchamp’s thought and art
    More example sentences
    • Through these, new subject matter and models were widely disseminated, with diffusion into book illumination and sculpture.
    • But diffusion of ideas does not mean they are implemented; it only means they are talked about.
    • Some skeptics have dismissed this diffusion of democratic ideas as ‘Westernization’ pure and simple.
    spread, dissemination, scattering, dispersal, diaspora, distribution, circulation, propagation, transmission, broadcasting, promulgation
  • 1.1The action of spreading the light from a light source evenly so as to reduce glare and harsh shadows.
    More example sentences
    • Some parts are painted white to assist with light diffusion, but the essential texture and character of the material is still legible.
    • The beach seemed to shine in the moonlight; the water sparkled, reflecting the light in diffusion.
    • Screen shots show the use of the curve, light diffusion and terracing to invite the player.
  • 1.2 Chemistry The intermingling of substances by the natural movement of their particles: the rate of diffusion of a gas
    More example sentences
    • Examples include the distribution of counterions on DNA, micelles, polymer diffusion, and liquid mixtures.
    • Respiratory function tests generally show a persistent slight-to-moderate hypoxemia and a reduction of carbon monoxide diffusion.
    • The difference could be attributed to errors on cell counts, natural variability, gas diffusion through tissue of intact pears, and other factors.
  • 1.3 Anthropology The dissemination of elements of culture to another region or people.
    More example sentences
    • He accounts for this by cultural diffusion: any development which might have enabled one of the civilizations to forge ahead was borrowed and adopted by the other civilizations.
    • According to world culture theorists, the diffusion took place in three phases.
    • The cities he founded became the spring boards for the diffusion of Hellenistic culture.



( Chemistry )
More example sentences
  • The barrier to penetration in this case is reactive rather than physical: the rate of deactivation of the antimicrobial exceeds the rate of diffusive penetration.
  • Other interactions may also play a role, but our data are consistent with the simple picture that nucleosomal motion leads to more flexibility in the chromatin fibers and thus more diffusive motion.
  • The diffusive hindrance data combined with imaging of the gels and permeability measurements suggest that unassembled collagen in the void spaces of the gel plays a role in hindering diffusion.


late Middle English (in the sense 'pouring out, effusion'): from Latin diffusion-, from diffundere 'pour out'.

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a small amount; a little