Definition of diffusionist in English:


Syllabification: dif·fu·sion·ist
Pronunciation: /diˈfyo͞oZHənist


  • Advocating the theory of the dissemination of elements of culture to another region or people: the rural sociological literature of the diffusionist school
    More example sentences
    • It implied a diffusionist view of history whereby high civilization was brought from the Fertile Crescent and then made its way down to the Lower Nile Valley by white or near-whites of the Caucasian family.
    • Nonetheless, conceptions of Australian science have largely remained bound by the top-down perspective assumed by the diffusionist model.
    • Her theories are reminiscent of the diffusionist theories that argue that Native Americans were descended from the lost tribes of Israel, the Welsh, the Phoenicians, the Egyptians, and/or the Chinese.


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  • An advocate of diffusionism.
    More example sentences
    • Imaginative diffusionists used such similarities to speculate on the origins of the Maya.
    • He was a diffusionist, plain and simple.
    • He was a ‘diffusionist’, and through his studies he attempted to illustrate how and why similar games appear in different cultures.



Pronunciation: /-ˌnizəm/
More example sentences
  • Intellectually this was a muddle, from ‘diffusionism’ to ‘cultural adaptation to environments’ to ‘post-processual’ symbolic interpretations.
  • Without reliving the controversy of the last few decades, it is safe to say that the accurate and devastating criticisms leveled by him against cultural diffusionism and migration theory have not been completely answered.
  • One of the most interesting points to emerge is a recognition that with hindsight, European radicalism has once again written itself as a form of diffusionism, its sources and impetuses exclusive unto itself.

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