noun, often capitalized
nir·​va·​na | \ nir-ˈvä-nə How to pronounce nirvana (audio) , (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 How to pronounce nirvana (audio) , -​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 Sports heaven is a one-possession game this time of year with so much more unpredictable nirvana to come. Joseph Goodman |, al, "Hoops Heaven is here for Alabama," 15 Mar. 2021 Here are five tips for helping your indoor cat reach feline nirvana. Cathy M. Rosenthal, San Antonio Express-News, "5 easy ways to make your indoor cat happier," 25 Mar. 2021 That legendary run came at the height of big bass nirvana at Lake Fork. Matt Williams, Dallas News, "February was an epic month for Texas bass anglers, who reeled in eight Legacy ShareLunkers in 10 days," 12 Mar. 2021 Americans could then march hand-in-hand toward a nirvana of permanent comity. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, "Column: Neera Tanden and the ‘civility’ scam," 24 Feb. 2021 Their souls, not their bodies, would evolve into alien beings and be whisked away to outer-space nirvana. Mary Colurso |, al, "7 creepy things we learned about cult leader and former UA teacher Marshall Applewhite," 13 Dec. 2020 The jumbo packs of Kirkland toilet paper were a shimmering nirvana in the distance when the pain from a recent knee injury shot up to level 10. Debra Ryll,, "Wrestling with aging like a hermit in the era of COVID," 27 Nov. 2020 But after hitting professional rock bottom, best friends turned business partners Bree Pear and Crissy Saint-Massey discovered career nirvana with a business model that provides a feel-good boost while paying it forward. Georgann Yara, The Arizona Republic, "Phoenix-based Only Human apparel company finds success by doing good for good causes," 27 Nov. 2020 Take that little moment of nirvana to the next level with a pair of down booties to keep your feet warm while hanging out. Los Angeles Times, "Big turkey, no. Outdoor yoga at a cemetery? Yes," 26 Nov. 2020

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 entry 1

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Time Traveler for nirvana

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The first known use of nirvana was in 1829

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Last Updated

15 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Nirvana.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for nirvana



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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