di·va | \ˈdē-və \
plural divas or dive\-(ˌ)vā \

Definition of diva 

1a music : prima donna sense 1

b : prima donna sense 2 … if a team asks me to play somewhere else, I'm not going to be a diva about it.— Ettore Lattanzio

2 : a usually glamorous and successful female performer or personality (see personality sense 4b) a fashion diva especially : a popular female singer pop divas

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Synonyms for diva


goddess, princess, queen

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Examples of diva in a Sentence

the reigning diva of daytime television

Recent Examples on the Web

Born to gospel-music royalty, a child prodigy whose voice and graceful demeanor propelled her into superstar status as pop’s reigning diva, Houston ultimately died alone in a bathtub at 48, after years of abusing cocaine. Ann Hornaday, kansascity, "New Whitney Houston documentary transcends the rise-and-fall formula," 5 July 2018 Royal, drummer Charles Neal and bassist James H. Leary (chipping in after bass player Andre St. James died in late May) are finely syncopated to the music and moods of the unpredictable diva. OregonLive.com, "'Lady Day' tells Billie Holiday's story in richly layered, unforgettable show," 4 June 2018 She code-switches frequently and fluidly, from language to language, accent to accent, from urbane art diva to nature girl. Katie Walsh, latimes.com, "'Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami' delivers textured profile of music/fashion icon," 19 Apr. 2018 By embracing the surreal, the walls of that suffocating funeral home could fall away and the actors and musicians could share the spotlight, just as Rosetta insisted that Marie do, a rare act of generosity from a diva. Andrea Simakis, cleveland.com, "Cleveland Play House's bio musical on Sister Rosetta Tharpe, 'Marie and Rosetta,' is packed with history but short on magic (review)," 31 Jan. 2018 Meanwhile, a young woman in Hollywood is labeled an obnoxious diva at the first sign of anything less than likable behavior. refinery29.com, "Famous In Love Isn't Even Cancelled Yet, So Why Is Everyone Coming For Bella Thorne?," 27 June 2018 Performers include TBC Brass Band with Mardi Gras Indians, cabaret performer Marshall Harris, pop diva Pepper MaShay, as well as Shaw. Doug Maccash, NOLA.com, "New Orleans Pride Fest 2018: the rainbow rises June 8-10," 25 May 2018 Arthur Pita wanted to borrow scores by Björk for his ballet, but the Icelandic composer and pop diva was not easily persuaded. Allan Ulrich, San Francisco Chronicle, "S.F. Ballet whirls Unbound into historic dance festival," 4 Apr. 2018 The evening testified to a paradigm shift for women in music: this is no longer a moment of divas duking it out for a sole spot atop the pyramid. Raisa Bruner, Time, "The New Women of Pop Are Choosing Sisterhood Over Competition," 21 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'diva.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of diva

1883, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for diva

Italian, literally, goddess, from Latin, feminine of divus divine, god — more at deity

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Dictionary Entries near diva





diva blue



Statistics for diva

Last Updated

10 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for diva

The first known use of diva was in 1883

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English Language Learners Definition of diva

: the main female singer in an opera company

: a famous and successful woman who is very attractive and fashionable; especially : an attractive and successful female performer or celebrity

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Comments on diva

What made you want to look up diva? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


evasion of direct action or statement

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