Meaning of DIFFUSE in English

■ verb dɪ'fju:z spread over a wide area.

↘ Physics intermingle with another substance by movement of particles.

■ adjective dɪ'fju:s

1》 spread out over a large area; not concentrated.

↘(of disease) not localized in the body.

2》 lacking clarity or conciseness.


~ly dɪ'fju:sli adverb

~ness dɪ'fju:snɪs noun

~r (also diffusor ) noun

diffusible adjective


ME: from L. diffus- , diffundere 'pour out'; the adjective is via Fr. diffus or L. diffusus 'extensive'.


The verbs ~ and defuse sound similar but have different meanings. Diffuse means ‘spread over a wide area’, while defuse means ‘reduce the danger or tension in’. Thus sentences such as Cooper successfully ~d the situation are wrong, while Cooper successfully defused the situation would be correct.

Concise Oxford English vocab.      Сжатый оксфордский словарь английского языка.