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[dih-vur-si-tee, dahy-] /dɪˈvɜr sɪ ti, daɪ-/
noun, plural diversities.
the state or fact of being diverse; difference; unlikeness:
diversity of opinion.
variety; multiformity.
the inclusion of individuals representing more than one national origin, color, religion, socioeconomic stratum, sexual orientation, etc.:
diversity in the workplace.
a point of difference.
Origin of diversity
1300-50; Middle English diversite < Anglo-French < Latin dīversitās. See diverse, -ity
2. change, difference, variation, dissimilarity. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for diversities
Historical Examples
  • There are diversities in the systems of the different tribes and nations, but the radical features are constant.

    Ancient Society Lewis Henry Morgan
  • diversities of soil and climate make no impression upon its originality.

    The Foot-path Way Bradford Torrey
  • Various explanations have been offered for these diversities of appearance.

    The Story of Eclipses George Chambers
  • The other diversities are superadded upon this diversity of sound.

    The Sense of Beauty George Santayana
  • Thus there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit; and God, in diversifying his gifts, makes his manifold wisdom appear.

  • This is an ordinary example of the diversities of Vedic translation.

  • In truth, our diversities of sentiment affect far less what we believe, than the question why we believe it.

    Studies of Christianity James Martineau
  • Switzerland is a nation, in spite of diversities of race, religion, and language.

    Expository Writing Mervin James Curl
  • It has often seemed to me that diversities of taste throw much light on the basis of character.

    The Map of Life William Edward Hartpole Lecky
  • The diversities of the profession in England and America are curious and suggestive.

    The Collector Henry T. Tuckerman
British Dictionary definitions for diversities


the state or quality of being different or varied
a point of difference
(logic) the relation that holds between two entities when and only when they are not identical; the property of being numerically distinct
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for diversities



mid-14c., "quality of being diverse," mostly in a neutral sense, from Old French diversité (12c.) "difference, diversity, unique feature, oddness:" also "wickedness, perversity," from Latin diversitatem (nominative diversitas) "contrariety, contradiction, disagreement;" also, as a secondary sense, "difference, diversity," from diversus "turned different ways" (in Late Latin "various"), past participle of divertere (see divert).

Negative meaning, "being contrary to what is agreeable or right; perversity, evil" existed in English from late 15c. but was obsolete from 17c. Diversity as a virtue in a nation is an idea from the rise of modern democracies in the 1790s, where it kept one faction from arrogating all power (but this was not quite the modern sense, as ethnicity, gender, sexual identity, etc. were not the qualities in mind):

The dissimilarity in the ingredients which will compose the national government, and still more in the manner in which they will be brought into action in its various branches, must form a powerful obstacle to a concert of views in any partial scheme of elections. There is sufficient diversity in the state of property, in the genius, manners, and habits of the people of the different parts of the Union, to occasion a material diversity of disposition in their representatives towards the different ranks and conditions in society. ["Federalist" #60, Feb. 26, 1788 (Hamilton)]
Specific focus (in a positive sense) on race, gender, etc. is from 1992.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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