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.

1325–75; Middle English < Latin diffūsiōn- (stem of diffūsiō) a spreading out, equivalent to diffūs(us) (see diffuse) + -iōn- -ion

interdiffusion, noun
nondiffusion, noun
overdiffusion, noun
rediffusion, noun
self-diffusion, noun

diffraction, diffusion, reflection, rarefaction, refraction.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
diffusion (dɪˈfjuːʒən)
1.  the act or process of diffusing or being diffused; dispersion
2.  verbosity
3.  physics
 a.  the random thermal motion of atoms, molecules, clusters of atoms, etc, in gases, liquids, and some solids
 b.  the transfer of atoms or molecules by their random motion from one part of a medium to another
4.  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
5.  physics Also called: diffusivity the degree to which the directions of propagation of reverberant sound waves differ from point to point in an enclosure
6.  anthropol the transmission of social institutions, skills, and myths from one culture to another

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Dictionary.com's 21st Century Lexicon
Main Entry:  cultural diffusion
Part of Speech:  n
Definition:  in anthropology, the process by which a cultural trait, material object, idea, or behavior pattern is spread from one society to another; also called diffusion
Dictionary.com's 21st Century Lexicon
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Word Origin & History

late 14c., from L. diffusionem, from stem of diffundere "scatter, pour out," from dif- "apart, in every direction" + fundere "pour" (see found (2)).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

diffusion dif·fu·sion (dĭ-fyōō'zhən)

  1. The process of diffusing or the condition of being diffused.

  2. The spontaneous intermingling of the particles of two or more substances as a result of random thermal motion.

  3. See dialysis.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
diffusion   (dĭ-fy'zhən)  Pronunciation Key 
  1. 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.

  2. 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 © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

diffusion definition

The spreading of atoms or molecules of one substance through those of another, especially into liquids or gases.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Understand culture and how cultural diffusion affects the development and maintenance of societies.
Understand the role of culture and cultural diffusion on the development and maintenance of societies.
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