Di·​wa·​li | \ də-ˈwä-lē How to pronounce Diwali (audio) , -ˈvā- \
variants: or less commonly Divali or Dewali
plural Diwalis also Divalis or Dewalis

Definition of Diwali

: a Hindu festival of lights held late in October Candlelight and lanterns are traditional beacons of autumn and winter for many cultures—from Diwali to Christmas to Hanukkah—as communities usher in longer nights.— Leeta-Rose Ballester

First Known Use of Diwali

1698, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for Diwali

borrowed from Hindi dīvālī, divālī, going back to Middle Indo-Aryan dīvālī-, dīvāvalī-, going back to Sanskrit dīpāvaliḥ "row of lights, the Diwali festival," from dīpaḥ "lamp, light" (noun extracted from dīpayati "[s/he] sets alight, lights, illuminates," causative derivative from the base of dī́deti "[it] shines, is bright") + āvaliḥ "row, line" (of uncertain origin) — more at psychedelic entry 1

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Cite this Entry

“Diwali.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Diwali. Accessed 28 Feb. 2021.

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