Definition of diaspora in US English:



often the Diaspora
  • 1The dispersion of the Jews beyond Israel.

    The main diaspora began in the 8th–6th centuries BC, and even before the sack of Jerusalem in AD 70 the number of Jews dispersed by the diaspora was greater than that living in Israel. Thereafter, Jews were dispersed even more widely throughout the Roman world and beyond

    • ‘The Sephardic tradition originated in the Babylonian community; with the diaspora it took root in Spain and Africa, and moved on from there.’
    • ‘It should be remembered that it was globalized racism which created the necessity for the supranational flag of diaspora and cultural nationalism.’
    • ‘In chapter 6, S-C identifies the means by which the Jews of the diaspora gave evidence of purity.’
    • ‘Themes of emigration, pilgrimage, diaspora, exile and new homelands are woven into the psalms and canticles.’
    • ‘French photographer and social anthropologist Frederic Brenner has been chronicling the Jewish diaspora in more than 40 countries since 1978.’
    • ‘It makes me uncomfortable to read a rather disparaging presentation of Jewish diaspora.’
    • ‘Jewish people remember the diaspora well; this is why they are Jewish people.’
    • ‘The main centre of the diaspora is now the USA, with some 6 million Jews.’
    • ‘Not knowing when Passover began, communities in the diaspora observed an additional day.’
    • ‘Even in the diaspora, the narrative of his survival, as he told it, was a story of relationships, networks, debts owned and paid, and rights and responsibilities mediated through kin and idiomatic kin.’
    • ‘During both the First and Second Temple periods, the Temple was the central focus of the Jewish world both in Israel and the diaspora.’
    • ‘This law recognizes as extra-territorial nationals Jews living in the diaspora.’
    • ‘This is where some background reading on the Bible would have come in handy: at the time of Jesus the majority of Jews already lived in the diaspora.’
    • ‘Historically, as we have seen, the concept of diaspora refers to the dispersion of the Jews as a scripturally narrativized spiritual experience.’
    • ‘The concept of diaspora originally referred to those Jews who lived outside Judaea.’
    • ‘During the diaspora, as Jews left Palestine to settle in various parts of Europe, two distinctly Jewish languages emerged.’
    • ‘His prayer asking forgiveness to God for the offenses of Catholics during the World War II touched many, including Israeli Jews and those of the diaspora.’
    • ‘The Jewish Austrian intellectual elite was, in fact, scattered around the globe in the diaspora caused by the Second World War.’
    • ‘The messianic idea animated Jewish resistance to Roman occupation and sustained the Jews for centuries in the diaspora.’
    • ‘Their experiences contribute another chapter to a small literature on the diaspora of Italian Jews to Australia as a result of Mussolini's racial decrees.’
    relocation, resettling, population movement, transhumance, moving, moving abroad, emigration, expatriation, posting, exodus, departure, hegira, defection, trek
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Jews living outside Israel.
      • ‘Or it may be the removal of any self-consciousness that can often accompany public expression of Jewishness in the diaspora.’
      • ‘As Israel's former minister for the diaspora, he toured British universities and well understands the mortal moral sickness that now grips them.’
      • ‘More telling than the commandment to study and the importuning of the rabbis is the description of how the of Torah was integrated into the life-style of the Jews in the cities and shtetls of the diaspora.’
      • ‘Stephen Marks remarked that the diaspora were supporting Israel as a form of ‘insurance policy’ Zionism.’
      • ‘Beyond the diaspora, it has also found fans among directors and impresarios like Baz Luhrmann and Andrew Lloyd Weber, who have plundered signature elements to revitalise their own work.’
      • ‘For almost three decades he has helped to build and sustain a transnational epistemic community dedicated to the study of the diaspora.’
      • ‘However while diasporic imagining might be homogenizing the diaspora has not been formed by a singular process, are not culturally very similar.’
      • ‘The answer is that living with uncertainty in the Land of our roots is still far superior to the security of being firmly established in the diaspora.’
      • ‘It would be a sad irony if, in the process of trying to strengthen Jewish identity, programs like Birthright Israel ended up undermining the diaspora's theological and spiritual dignity.’
      • ‘And then there are other concerns: as with any other artificially created community the diaspora is a profoundly varied ‘group’.’
      • ‘In Her Body Knows, the second novella, Rotem returns to Israel from the diaspora to her dying mother, Nili.’
      • ‘Could not Paul have experienced, particularly in the diaspora, a Judaism so set upon maintaining its boundary markers, and so proud of them, that the markers became ends in themselves?’
      • ‘Even if, as Sharon postulates, there is a further incoming of 1 million Jews from the diaspora, there is an inevitability about population trends which would threaten the very existence of a Jewish state.’
      • ‘At that stage the diaspora was connected through the personal chains of migration between national territories not yet systematically regulated by passports and border controls.’
      • ‘This religious pluralism is rare, not only in Israel but throughout the diaspora.’
      • ‘No one can ever criticise the Jewish diaspora for asserting Israel's right to exist.’
      • ‘Gloria Wekker offers an insightful perspective on female sexual behaviors in the diaspora that reflect both female and male Western sexual behavior.’
    2. 1.2 The dispersion of any people from their original homeland.
      ‘the diaspora of boat people from Asia’
      • ‘Both are waning, and neither is likely to fuel this great diaspora far beyond the year 2000.’
      • ‘Authors cover a wide span of issues ranging from life to death, from this world to the world to come, from medicine to mediation, and from traditional cultures to the diaspora in the west.’
      • ‘Apart from members of the diaspora investing back home, the government should help Indian industry set up base in countries where there is a significant Indian diaspora.’
      • ‘In countries of the diaspora, such as Trinidad, it is the Ramayana that is the sacred text of first choice.’
      • ‘There has always been a Somali elite, many in the diaspora.’
      • ‘These groupings permitted Subiros to address interconnected themes such as the increasing migration to urban centers within the continent, and the diaspora from those centers to the West.’
      • ‘It could be argued that Ross didn't visit enough places, since the diaspora is limited to Paris, London, Brazil, Toronto and Ghana.’
      • ‘But now, as Landry hints, this forced exodus, this sudden diaspora, may sprinkle a little funky seasoning on music from St. Louis to Austin, and the world might be better for it.’
      • ‘Religious studies and philosophy, as well as the natural sciences and ecology also bring promising perspectives to the study of identity, language, and memory in Africa and the diaspora.’
      • ‘Little wonder that some young Tibetans in the diaspora are deserting their closed communities, where no more than the fulfilment of basic material needs is considered acceptable.’
      • ‘Enforced ethnic cleansing and poor economic prospects at home caused a diaspora which tested national flexibility.’
      • ‘These international alliances, Edwards argues, constitute diaspora in practice, and that its inner workings can be most tangibly grasped in translation.’
      • ‘If the Exodus of Miriam and the Jewish people goes back to the expulsion from Egypt and the history of the Diaspora, my own diaspora goes back to the departure from Chile, my small childhood paradise.’
      • ‘The catalogue ends with Mark Sealy's interview of Stuart Hall, who addresses the positionality of black artists in the diaspora and opens a dialogue on issues of race, identity, and stereotyping.’
      • ‘Marshall's meditations here encompassed many styles and mediums, while centering on themes of community, sociopolitical awareness, the African diaspora and black culture.’
      • ‘Much of the author's fiction involves, for instance, her search for an authorial voice with which to tell, or rather retell, the stories of partially dispossessed women across the diaspora.’
      • ‘By the same token the hulls come to embody notions of flight, diaspora, immigration and emigration.’
      • ‘The Internet unites families and cultures in diaspora; it connects people, helping them to form civil societies.’
      • ‘A consequence of the Hindu diaspora is an increased number of Hindus marrying outside their community, as subsequent generations become more and more identified with their new country.’
      • ‘The song is something of a social commentary, dealing with the issue of Haitian identity in the diaspora.’
    3. 1.3 The people so dispersed.
      ‘the Ukrainian diaspora flocked back to Kiev’
      • ‘It is these shared practices that enable the diaspora to create and critique its idea of community and home.’
      • ‘They are created and practiced in Africa as well as across the African diaspora (communities outside of continental Africa inhabited by peoples of African descent).’
      • ‘And if it weren't for the diaspora's demands, might Turkey long ago have opened its border and allowed for the kind of long-term economic development that Armenia needs?’
      • ‘You need to find the diaspora and tell them to give back something to South Africa, because they should be part of a strategy to improve the future of the country.’
      • ‘The role of the active production and consumption of various forms of media on the ethnic groups and diasporas has long been debated among scholars from different disciplines.’
      • ‘The institutional structures of colonial India frequently provided models for the organization of Indian classical music, first in India and then beyond in the diaspora.’
      • ‘African Americans and black people from the diaspora often have great expectations for their first visit to Africa.’
      • ‘S.Bhat urged setting up new centres of education and cultural activity wherever the diaspora has moved in sizable concentrations.’
      • ‘Seven Oaks staff contributor Tejpal Singh Swatch, himself a member of the bearded diaspora and pop culture devotee, has waited since childhood for the appearance in the mainstream of a familiar face.’
      • ‘Campaign contributions and the votes of the diaspora are crucially important in home country politics.’
      • ‘The south Asian diaspora in the United Kingdom comprises Indians (predominantly Gujaratis and Punjabis), Sri Lankans, Pakistanis, and Bangladeshis.’
      • ‘Listener feedback provides evidence of an international audience, with asynchronous access, largely among the diaspora of Welsh expatriates and their descendants.’
      • ‘None of the sins of these people should be visited upon the members of the diaspora at large.’
      • ‘Loaded had some interesting features, in particular the conflict between a young gay man's search for identity and the expectations of society, family and the Greek diaspora in Melbourne's working class suburbs.’
      • ‘So… is it possible that Bhansali is planning a grand American release aimed at the mainstream audience, and not just the diaspora?’
      • ‘For subsequent generations of the diaspora, the cultural climate they are reared in is far more compelling a force than a romanticised India their earlier generations may be nostalgic about.’
      • ‘All these stories connect across and beyond the continent, as Africans reached out to the diaspora and elsewhere to form new identities as a means of countering forces that would subordinate them.’
      • ‘Then, there are the strained relations between the home country and the diaspora and the sometimes tense relations between the home country and the strong dominant neighbour.’
      • ‘The first stirrings came last week when it emerged Henry had gone beyond the normal Welsh diaspora to strengthen the squad.’
      • ‘Only he drew support from all sections of the Palestinian people - in the occupied territories, the diaspora and Israel itself - and had the authority to make a comprehensive agreement stick.’


Greek, from diaspeirein ‘disperse’, from dia ‘across’ + speirein ‘scatter’. The term originated in the Septuagint (Deuteronomy 28:25) in the phrase esē diaspora en pasais basileias tēs gēs ‘thou shalt be a dispersion in all kingdoms of the earth’.