The words diffuse and suffuse have almost similar meaning, both of them can be interpreted as "spread over something".

What is the difference between them? And which one should be used in which context?

closed as off-topic by vickyace, Drew, MetaEd Mar 29 '17 at 14:25

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To diffuse is to spread something.

To suffuse is to spread something over something else.

Some music had to be played in order to diffuse the discomfort.

What more could be needed to suffuse the world with the deepest meaning and beauty?



  • Helpful note for the OP: keep in mind the roots of these words and they'll be indelibly etched in your vocabulary. Specifically, dif and sub. – vickyace Mar 29 '17 at 6:12
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    If I heard the first one I would always assume you meant defuse. Reading the sentence with diffuse really makes me think there was just a couple of people who were uncomfortable and the music playing ensured that now everyone is. – DRF Mar 29 '17 at 6:49
  • @DRF It's called humor. – Ricky Mar 29 '17 at 6:50
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    @ricky Ahh ok fair enough. It makes it somewhat tricky when you're using it with the idea of explicating the meaning though. – DRF Mar 29 '17 at 6:51
  • @DRF Well. My philosophy is since we all have brains we might as well use them. When someone is baffled by something, the logical thing to do is point it out and ask - the way you did earlier. When someone doesn't quite "get" something, again, why not ask someone else to clarify it? That's how conversations become, not merely informative, but entertaining as well. – Ricky Mar 29 '17 at 7:48

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