- act of diffusing; state of being diffused.
- prolixity of speech or writing; discursiveness.
- Also called migration.an intermingling of molecules, ions, etc., resulting from random thermal agitation, as in the dispersion of a vapor in air.
- a reflection or refraction of light or other electromagnetic radiation from an irregular surface or an erratic dispersion through a surface; scattering.
- Movies. a soft-focus effect resulting from placing a gelatin or silk plate in front of a studio light or a camera lens, or through the use of diffusion filters.
- Meteorology. the spreading of atmospheric constituents or properties by turbulent motion as well as molecular motion of the air.
- Anthropology, Sociology. Also called cultural diffusion. the transmission of elements or features of one culture to another.
Origin of diffusion
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for diffusion
The diffusion of information sources, social media chief among them, simply makes that harder to do.Could Social Media Blow Special Operations Like the Failed Foley Rescue?
August 23, 2014
At this critical moment, this diffusion of attention is potentially crippling.Satellites Correctly Predict Military Campaign Against Civilians in Sudan
December 9, 2013
Thom Browne, known for his tricolor stripes and short-suits, will soon launch a diffusion collection called Thom Grey.Mary-Kate Olsen Moves In; 20,000 Pairs of Fake Louboutins Seized
The Daily Beast
August 17, 2012
Like man, he must have a purpose; and his purpose is the diffusion of that goodness or good which he himself is.Timaeus
The soft layers are porous, and permit the diffusion of the acid from plate to plate.The Automobile Storage Battery
O. A. Witte
It is not merely education that makes civilization, but diffusion of education.
All of them would be smothered and starved to death as soon as diffusion ceased.Common Science
Carleton W. Washburne
It is seeking to combat disease in its centers of diffusion.The Ethics of Coperation
James Hayden Tufts
- the act or process of diffusing or being diffused; dispersion
- the random thermal motion of atoms, molecules, clusters of atoms, etc, in gases, liquids, and some solids
- the transfer of atoms or molecules by their random motion from one part of a medium to another
- physics the transmission or reflection of electromagnetic radiation, esp light, in which the radiation is scattered in many directions and not directly reflected or refracted; scattering
- Also called: diffusivity physics the degree to which the directions of propagation of reverberant sound waves differ from point to point in an enclosure
- anthropol the transmission of social institutions, skills, and myths from one culture to another
Word Origin and History for diffusion
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- The process of diffusing or the condition of being diffused.
- The spontaneous intermingling of the particles of two or more substances as a result of random thermal motion.
- The movement of atoms or molecules from an area of higher concentration to an area of lower concentration. Atoms and small molecules can move across a cell membrane by diffusion. Compare osmosis.
- The reflection or refraction of radiation such as light or sound by an irregular surface, tending to scatter it in many directions.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.