1825 in reference to Moravian protestants; 1869 in reference to the dispersion of the Jews; from Greek diaspora "dispersion," from diaspeirein "to scatter about, disperse," from dia "about, across" (see dia-) + speirein "to scatter" (see sparse). The Greek word was used in Septuagint in Deuteronomy xxviii.25. A Hebrew word for it is galuth "exile." The earlier word for it in English was Latinate dispersion (late 14c.). Related: Diasporic.
updated on January 16, 2022