nir·​va·​na nir-ˈvä-nə How to pronounce nirvana (audio)
often capitalized
: the final beatitude (see beatitude sense 1a) that transcends suffering, karma, and samsara and is sought especially in Buddhism through the extinction of desire and individual consciousness
: a place or state of oblivion to care, pain, or external reality
alcohol-induced nirvana
also : bliss, heaven
The resort is a skier's and snowboarder's nirvana.
: a goal hoped for but apparently unattainable : dream
… that nirvana of the … weatherman: A foolproof system of forecasting.Newsweek
nir-ˈvä-nik How to pronounce nirvana (audio)

Examples of nirvana in a Sentence

the spa experience was a week of pure nirvana the popular fantasy that life as a beachcomber in the South Pacific would be never-ending nirvana
Recent Examples on the Web This Broadway Center Stage mounting is a tightly packed clown car, speeding to musical-theater nirvana. Peter Marks, Washington Post, 15 May 2023 Several tournament anglers have lived big bass nirvana on Rayburn in recent times, including a trio of single-day tournament catches topping the 40-pound mark on five fish. Matt Williams, Dallas News, 22 Jan. 2022 Cord-cutters who initially found streaming to be a low-cost nirvana have seen that dream pretty much dashed as the number of streaming platforms has exploded and prices have risen. Vulture, 11 Aug. 2022 The key to achieving this nirvana is first to ensure that the star in question has a broad, diverse repertory that became the soundtrack to the key moments of life. Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune, 4 Dec. 2022 With just a few taps on the food delivery app, your lunch crowd will experience this nirvana between two buns, as well as those mouthwatering fries as sides. Deon Nicholas, Forbes, 11 July 2022 Down one road lay the Hayekian nirvana of fully privatized money and the pricing of everything; down the other lay the dream of a more equal world built on comprehensive reform of the international economic system. Aaron Timms, The New Republic, 31 Oct. 2022 While Hindus associate the holiday with Lord Ramas return from exile, Jains recognize it as the day Lord Mahavira reached a state of nirvana (Moksha), per BBC. Skyler Caruso, Peoplemag, 22 Oct. 2022 Devotees of Brother’s P-Touch label maker know that having one — and using it to uniformly label everything in the house — is like reaching organizational nirvana. Alesandra Dubin, Woman's Day, 18 Sep. 2022

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

Word History


Sanskrit nirvāṇa, literally, act of extinguishing, from nis- out + vāti it blows — more at wind entry 1

First Known Use

1829, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of nirvana was in 1829

Dictionary Entries Near nirvana

Cite this Entry

“Nirvana.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 May. 2024.

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