Definition of diffusion in English:



mass noun
  • 1The spreading of something more widely.

    ‘the rapid diffusion of ideas and technology’
    • ‘The Smithsonian was established by congress in 1846 for ‘the increase and diffusion of knowledge’ among the public.’
    • ‘This paper documents some aspects of this trend, and proposes policy diffusion as a set of mechanisms that explain the clustering in time and space of liberal policies.’
    • ‘The focus is on ideas, idea diffusion, brands, marketing, persuasion and web design.’
    • ‘But notice that the success of the joke depended on the tension that preceded it, and the secretary may have minded the tension more than she appreciated its diffusion.’
    • ‘It's like diffusion of innovation: whenever innovation comes along, the well-to-do are much quicker at adopting it.’
    • ‘This was also the beginning of a diffusion of English ideas into Indian diet.’
    • ‘Such interpenetration and diffusion of ideas, images, and information is made possible by the Internet on a global scale.’
    • ‘If, however, the priority is the diffusion of alternate ideas and debates, we should not overemphasize one vehicle over others.’
    • ‘The diffusion of goods, ideas, and people works continuously to erode uneven development, but never succeeds in doing so.’
    • ‘Only the articulation and diffusion of dangerous ideas was still limited.’
    • ‘But diffusion of ideas does not mean they are implemented; it only means they are talked about.’
    • ‘Thus, while the use of the new technology is indeed still extremely limited in India, and diffusion that can make a difference to the quality of life must wait, there are signs of change.’
    • ‘The circulation and diffusion of information provides a good example of the differences between German and Chinese organizational routines.’
    • ‘Interconnectedness also contributes to the rapid diffusion of ideas and technology.’
    • ‘In fact, the pace and diffusion of IT innovation is now held to be so rapid that businesses must ditch all plans for next year and instead compete on internet time, putting the accent on agility rather than strategy.’
    • ‘Equally effective in the general diffusion of Christian ideas and Christianity in general was the monastic movement.’
    • ‘Through these, new subject matter and models were widely disseminated, with diffusion into book illumination and sculpture.’
    • ‘Eighty-seven years ago, he set twin ideals for the institution to follow - advancement of knowledge and comprehensive diffusion of the fruits of its labour.’
    • ‘Some skeptics have dismissed this diffusion of democratic ideas as ‘Westernization’ pure and simple.’
    • ‘Broadly, productive economic activities and notions of long-term investment became sidelined in favour of immediate consumption and resource diffusion.’
    spreading, scattering, dispersal, dispersing
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    1. 1.1 The action of spreading the light from a light source evenly to reduce glare and harsh shadows.
      • ‘The beach seemed to shine in the moonlight; the water sparkled, reflecting the light in diffusion.’
      • ‘When an object reflects light with little diffusion it is said to have a glossy or optically smooth surface.’
      • ‘The former model tends to use physical analogies like the diffusion of light or the growth of a plant.’
      • ‘He received the 1930 Nobel Prize in Physics for his research on the diffusion of light and discovery of the Raman effect.’
      • ‘Cheese Graters cast more shadows than light because they're given to light patterns and light diffusion - core ingredients of mood lighting.’
      • ‘Another is the reflections off the water's surface, the refraction, and what I would call subsurface scattering of light, or the diffusion of light.’
      • ‘Colors in the agate are due to traces of iron and manganese oxides or to light diffusion in colloids.’
      • ‘It was now long after nightfall, yet the interminable forest through which he journeyed was lit with a wan glimmer having no point of diffusion, for in its mysterious lumination nothing cast a shadow.’
      • ‘A second patent followed after he began to study the diffusion of infrared light.’
      • ‘Screen shots show the use of the curve, light diffusion and terracing to invite the player.’
      • ‘Some parts are painted white to assist with light diffusion, but the essential texture and character of the material is still legible.’
      • ‘The halation to which he referred is a further diffusion of light that can occur around highlights, as well as around other areas of brightness in a projected camera image.’
      • ‘As in her canvases, the white serves to isolate and intensify the colored shapes, but here it also permits an increased diffusion of light throughout the chapel.’
    2. 1.2Physics The intermingling of substances by the natural movement of their particles.
      ‘the rate of diffusion of a gas’
      • ‘These studies address the effect of the hydrophobic surfactant proteins on diffusion within lipid bilayers.’
      • ‘Respiratory function tests generally show a persistent slight-to-moderate hypoxemia and a reduction of carbon monoxide diffusion.’
      • ‘The diffusion of particles in a polymer solution has been investigated on numerous polymeric systems.’
      • ‘Examples include the distribution of counterions on DNA, micelles, polymer diffusion, and liquid mixtures.’
      • ‘The difference could be attributed to errors on cell counts, natural variability, gas diffusion through tissue of intact pears, and other factors.’
      discharge, emission, radiation, effusion, exhalation, exudation, outflow, outpouring, flow, secretion, leak
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    3. 1.3Anthropology The dissemination of elements of culture to another region or people.
      • ‘Others have attributed the transmission of common motifs and themes to a process of diffusion, whereby ideas are carried from culture to culture by humans involved in such activities as war and trade.’
      • ‘The cities he founded became the spring boards for the diffusion of Hellenistic culture.’
      • ‘This remarkable cultural diffusion clearly illustrates just how far north Hispanic influences spread.’
      • ‘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.’
      dissemination, spreading, communication, transmission, making known, putting about
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Late Middle English (in the sense ‘pouring out, effusion’): from Latin diffusio(n-), from diffundere ‘pour out’.