from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The dispersion of Jews outside of Israel from the sixth century B.C., when they were exiled to Babylonia, until the present time.
  • n. The body of Jews or Jewish communities outside Palestine or modern Israel.
  • n. A dispersion of a people from their original homeland.
  • n. The community formed by such a people: "the glutinous dish known throughout the [West African] diaspora as ... fufu” ( Jonell Nash).
  • n. A dispersion of an originally homogeneous entity, such as a language or culture: "the diaspora of English into several mutually incomprehensible languages” ( Randolph Quirk).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • proper n. The dispersion of the Jews from the land of Israel.
  • proper n. The Jews so dispersed, taken collectively.
  • proper n. A similar dispersion.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Lit., “Dispersion.” -- applied collectively: (a) To those Jews who, after the Exile, were scattered through the Old World, and afterwards to Jewish Christians living among heathen. Cf. James i. 1. (b) By extension, to Christians isolated from their own communion, as among the Moravians to those living, usually as missionaries, outside of the parent congregation.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The dispersion of the Jews; among the Hellenistic Jews and in the New Testament, the whole body of Jews living scattered among the Gentiles after the Babylonian captivity: also used by the Jewish Christians of the apostolic age for their fellow Christians outside of Palestine (rendered “the strangers” in the authorized version of 1 Pet. i. 1, and “the Dispersion” in the revised version).

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the dispersion or spreading of something that was originally localized (as a people or language or culture)
  • n. the dispersion of the Jews outside Israel; from the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem in 587-86 BC when they were exiled to Babylonia up to the present time
  • n. the body of Jews (or Jewish communities) outside Palestine or modern Israel


Greek diasporā, dispersion, from diaspeirein, to spread about : dia-, apart; see dia- + speirein, to sow, scatter.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
See diaspora. (Wiktionary)



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