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 nirvanic (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

Today, around half a billion people around the world practice Buddhism, which is built upon principles like the Four Noble Truths and pursuit of nirvana. Caitlin Etherton, National Geographic, "20 of the world’s most beautiful Buddhist temples," 10 June 2019 Top Shop: Balmoria View this post on Instagram A post shared by Balmoria (@balmoriamx) on Apr 28, 2018 at 7:15am PDT Enter cosmetic nirvana at Balmoria, which sells only artisanal makeup, skincare, and wellness brands made in Mexico. Taylore Glynn, Marie Claire, "Your Beauty Guide to Mexico City," 28 May 2019 Chillest Spa: Yes Organic Boutique and Spa View this post on Instagram A post shared by Yes Organic Boutique (@yesorganicboutique) on Feb 26, 2019 at 5:06pm PST Enter nirvana at this dreamy day spa. Taylore Glynn, Marie Claire, "Your Beauty Guide to Albuquerque," 3 May 2019 Yet for all her expertise, Tran thinks the minimalist nirvana worshipped on Instagram is but a pipe dream. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Alyce Tran Is Here to Edit Your Handbag and Your Life," 2 May 2019 The result is heavily tilted by boom times such as the late 20s and late 90s dynasties and the economic nirvana that was the 1950s. Spencer Jakab, WSJ, "A Rough Day for People Wearing Pinstripes," 10 Oct. 2018 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

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

16 Jul 2019

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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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Comments on nirvana

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


to complain fretfully

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