Di·​wa·​li də-ˈwä-lē How to pronounce Diwali (audio)
variants or less commonly Divali or Dewali
plural Diwalis also Divalis or Dewalis
: a Hindu festival of lights held in late October or early November
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

Examples of Diwali in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web That shot during Diwali when the camera was swinging over the people, the crane broke. Selome Hailu, Variety, 12 Mar. 2024 Plus, there are the big holidays around the world, like Diwali, Eid and Christmas, which reliably translate into huge crowds and high rates. Christopher Elliott, USA TODAY, 7 Jan. 2024 But a lot can change in a 12-hour flight — and Yash and Nikki decide to make this a Diwali to remember. EW.com, 24 Nov. 2023 The sequence was planned fairly late in the day with a Diwali holiday release date locked. Naman Ramachandran, Variety, 30 Jan. 2024 The parting bite was coconut fudge finished with edible gold leaf, a nod to the Diwali rituals of eating sweets and giving gifts. Mahira Rivers, New York Times, 16 Nov. 2023 In November, to commemorate Diwali, the brothers released Rupee’s first India pale ale, designed to taste more like the original English ales that were shipped to the colonies. Tony Rehagen, Washington Post, 25 Jan. 2024 His family would string holiday lights around their yard in late October or early November for Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights that welcomes the new year. Deborah Netburn, Los Angeles Times, 21 Dec. 2023 From that feedback, Beachwood City Schools updated its academic calendar, closing schools on the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr; for Diwali, the Indian festival of lights; and for Lunar New Year in Chinese culture. Jackie Valley, The Christian Science Monitor, 5 Dec. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'Diwali.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1698, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of Diwali was in 1698

Dictionary Entries Near Diwali

Cite this Entry

“Diwali.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Diwali. Accessed 23 Apr. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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