[dih-van, -vahn or especially for 1, dahy-van]
See more synonyms for divan on Thesaurus.com
  1. a sofa or couch, usually without arms or back, often usable as a bed.
  2. a long, cushioned seat, usually without arms or back, placed against a wall, as in Asian countries.
  3. a council of state in Turkey and other countries of the Middle East.
  4. any council, committee, or commission.
  5. (in the Middle East)
    1. a council chamber, judgment hall, audience chamber, or bureau of state.
    2. a large building used for some official or public purpose, as a custom house.
  6. a smoking room, as in connection with a tobacco shop.
  7. a collection of poems, especially a collection in Arabic or Persian of poems by one poet.

Origin of divan

1580–90; < Turkish < Persian dīwān, orig. dēvan booklet (whence account book, office, council, bench)


adjective (esp. of chicken or turkey breast)
  1. sliced and baked in a casserole with broccoli and hollandaise sauce.

Origin of divan

of uncertain origin; perhaps a representation in E spelling of French divin divine
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for divan

lounge, sofa, davenport, seat

Examples from the Web for divan

Contemporary Examples of divan

Historical Examples of divan

British Dictionary definitions for divan


    1. a backless sofa or couch, designed to be set against a wall
    2. a bed resembling such a couch
  1. (esp formerly) a room for smoking and drinking, as in a coffee shop
    1. a Muslim law court, council chamber, or counting house
    2. a Muslim council of state
  2. a collection of poems
  3. (in Muslim law) an account book
Also called (for senses 2–5): diwan

Word Origin for divan

C16: from Turkish dīvān, from Persian dīwān
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

Word Origin and History for divan

1580s, "Oriental council of state," from Turkish divan, from Arabic diwan, from Persian devan "bundle of written sheets, small book, collection of poems" (as in the "Divan i-Hafiz"), related to debir "writer."

Sense evolved through "book of accounts," to "office of accounts," "custom house," "council chamber," then to "long, cushioned seat," such as are found along the walls in Middle Eastern council chambers (see couch). The sofa/couch sense was taken into English 1702; the "book of poems" sense in 1823.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper