Definition of diffusion in English:



  • 1[mass noun] The spreading of something more widely.

    ‘the rapid diffusion of ideas and technology’
    • ‘It's like diffusion of innovation: whenever innovation comes along, the well-to-do are much quicker at adopting it.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Through these, new subject matter and models were widely disseminated, with diffusion into book illumination and sculpture.’
    • ‘The diffusion of goods, ideas, and people works continuously to erode uneven development, but never succeeds in doing so.’
    • ‘If, however, the priority is the diffusion of alternate ideas and debates, we should not overemphasize one vehicle over others.’
    • ‘Equally effective in the general diffusion of Christian ideas and Christianity in general was the monastic movement.’
    • ‘But diffusion of ideas does not mean they are implemented; it only means they are talked about.’
    • ‘Broadly, productive economic activities and notions of long-term investment became sidelined in favour of immediate consumption and resource diffusion.’
    • ‘Such interpenetration and diffusion of ideas, images, and information is made possible by the Internet on a global scale.’
    • ‘The circulation and diffusion of information provides a good example of the differences between German and Chinese organizational routines.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Only the articulation and diffusion of dangerous ideas was still limited.’
    • ‘Some skeptics have dismissed this diffusion of democratic ideas as ‘Westernization’ pure and simple.’
    • ‘The Smithsonian was established by congress in 1846 for ‘the increase and diffusion of knowledge’ among the public.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This was also the beginning of a diffusion of English ideas into Indian diet.’
    spreading, scattering, dispersal, dispersing
    dissemination, disseminating, distribution, distributing, circulation, circulating, putting about, propagation, transmission, broadcasting, broadcast, promulgation, issuance
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    1. 1.1The action of spreading the light from a light source evenly to reduce glare and harsh shadows.
      • ‘He received the 1930 Nobel Prize in Physics for his research on the diffusion of light and discovery of the Raman effect.’
      • ‘The beach seemed to shine in the moonlight; the water sparkled, reflecting the light in diffusion.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Screen shots show the use of the curve, light diffusion and terracing to invite the player.’
      • ‘When an object reflects light with little diffusion it is said to have a glossy or optically smooth surface.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The former model tends to use physical analogies like the diffusion of light or the growth of a plant.’
      • ‘A second patent followed after he began to study the diffusion of infrared light.’
      • ‘Some parts are painted white to assist with light diffusion, but the essential texture and character of the material is still legible.’
      • ‘Colors in the agate are due to traces of iron and manganese oxides or to light diffusion in colloids.’
    2. 1.2Physics The intermingling of substances by the natural movement of their particles.
      ‘the rate of diffusion of a gas’
      • ‘The difference could be attributed to errors on cell counts, natural variability, gas diffusion through tissue of intact pears, and other factors.’
      • ‘The diffusion of particles in a polymer solution has been investigated on numerous polymeric systems.’
      • ‘These studies address the effect of the hydrophobic surfactant proteins on diffusion within lipid bilayers.’
      • ‘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.’
      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.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘This remarkable cultural diffusion clearly illustrates just how far north Hispanic influences spread.’
      • ‘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.’
      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.