[ nir-vah-nuh, -van-uh, ner- ]
See synonyms for: nirvananirvanic on

  1. (often initial capital letter)Pali nibbana. Buddhism. freedom from the endless cycle of personal reincarnations, with their consequent suffering, as a result of the extinction of individual passion, hatred, and delusion: attained by the Arhat as his goal but postponed by the Bodhisattva.

  2. (often initial capital letter)Hinduism. salvation through the union of Atman with Brahma; moksha.

  1. a place or state characterized by freedom from or oblivion to pain, worry, and the external world.

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Origin of nirvana

First recorded in 1830–40, nirvana is from the Sanskrit word nirvāṇa

Other words from nirvana

  • nir·va·nic, adjective

Words Nearby nirvana Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use nirvana in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for nirvana


/ (nɪəˈvɑːnə, nɜː-) /

  1. Buddhism Hinduism final release from the cycle of reincarnation attained by extinction of all desires and individual existence, culminating (in Buddhism) in absolute blessedness, or (in Hinduism) in absorption into Brahman

Origin of nirvana

C19: from Sanskrit: extinction, literally: a blowing out, from nir- out + vāti it blows

Derived forms of nirvana

  • nirvanic, adjective

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

Cultural definitions for nirvana


[ (neer-vah-nuh, nur-vah-nuh) ]

In Buddhism, the highest state of consciousness, in which the soul is freed from all desires and attachments. Nirvana is sometimes inaccurately used as a synonym for heaven or paradise.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.