Reflection due to light being absorbed by a thin layer under the surface of an object then reradiated. The radiated light is distributed uniformly from the point of incidence on the same side of the surface as the incident light. The reflected light has a spectrum equal to the product of the spectrum of the incident light and the absorption spectrum of the surface.
Diffuse reflection varies between the case when all the light is absorbed so that the surface is invisible and the other extreme when the surface reflects back all light from the source. Diffusely reflected light makes a surface appear dull with a matt finish that is independent of the viewing direction. Compare specular reflection.