noun, often capitalized
nir·​va·​na | \nir-ˈvä-nə, (ˌ)nər-\

Definition of nirvana 

1 : 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

2a : 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.

b : a goal hoped for but apparently unattainable : dream … that nirvana of the … weatherman: A foolproof system of forecasting.Newsweek

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Other Words from nirvana

nirvanic \nir-​ˈvä-​nik, -​ˈva-​, (ˌ)nər-​ \ adjective

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

While there’s infinite places to get your fix of smokey, juicy, charred brisket, pork, and chicken in the Lone Star State, there’s only a handful that reach peak-barbecue nirvana. Jenna Scatena, Condé Nast Traveler, "10 Best BBQ in Austin," 27 Feb. 2018 Here are the biggest mistakes that are keeping you from noodle nirvana. 1. Sherry Rujikarn, Good Housekeeping, "5 Common Mistakes That Are Ruining Your Pasta," 8 Apr. 2015 Beyoncé—to the mix, and the result is fashion nirvana. Laird Borrelli-persson, Vogue, "Plus One: Subscribe to Vogue and Receive the Much-Anticipated September Issue and a Limited-Edition Tote," 6 Aug. 2018 Yet the Democrats thought that was going to be political nirvana. Fox News, "Media downplay Trump administration's economic successes," 28 July 2018 The site is nirvana for fishing enthusiasts and boaters. Lizette Alvarez, New York Times, "The Cheeca Lodge Is Back, Tiki Bar and All," 23 June 2018 All Americans would then march hand-in-hand toward a nirvana of permanent comity. Michael Hiltzik,, "The Red Hen Affair: Demands for 'civility' are almost always aimed at shutting down free speech," 25 June 2018 During the summer, water parks become a nirvana for Arizonans. Jessica Suriano, azcentral, "Here are the best attractions at metro Phoenix's 5 water parks," 22 June 2018 Can a hearty burger with creative ingredients send you to foodie nirvana? Mary Colurso,, "Travel Channel looking for 'Food Paradise' at Jack Brown's Beer & Burger Joint," 12 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nirvana.' 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 nirvana

1829, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for nirvana

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

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Dictionary Entries near nirvana





nirvana principle



Statistics for nirvana

Last Updated

17 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for nirvana

The first known use of nirvana was in 1829

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English Language Learners Definition of nirvana

: the state of perfect happiness and peace in Buddhism where there is release from all forms of suffering

: a state or place of great happiness and peace

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