Definition of diva in English:



  • 1A celebrated female opera singer.

    • ‘And with a soprano taking the role, rather than a mezzo-soprano, for once the two divas were equals in their fireworks.’
    • ‘How distant those days of divas and arias must seem now as he watches the clouds gather over the Cuillins.’
    • ‘‘In 1870, the diva of the opera house had the presence and effect of David Beckham, Madonna and Kylie Minogue all rolled into one,’ says Driver.’
    • ‘One of Cuba's most celebrated divas will stop off in Cork and Dublin next weekend.’
    • ‘I cannot emphasise too strongly the vocal results of this disc from two accomplished divas of this order.’
    • ‘Lieberson gets her own diva showcase at the Met later on this season, as Dido in Berlioz's Les Troyens, and I can't wait.’
    • ‘Baker, not ordinarily thought of as a dramatic singer, shows most opera divas how to act with the voice.’
    • ‘The opera diva could accent a single word, like ‘ma’ in Rosina's aria in The Barber of Seville.’
    • ‘Why would one of opera's most acclaimed divas take a major musical risk?’
    • ‘Some of this singing is a little more operatic than it needs to be, but America's embrace is broad enough to hold the diva, the heldentenor, and more besides.’
    • ‘Perhaps our diva should have listened more carefully to her colleagues in this La Traviata and learned something from them.’
    • ‘The following year McNally won the Tony again for Master Class, his portrait of opera diva Maria Callas.’
    • ‘This is the story of Emma Albani, a woman from Chambly, Quebec who rose to become one of the late 19th century's greatest opera divas.’
    • ‘In those days, each operatic diva had fiercely partisan fans.’
    • ‘In 1851 the famed diva Jenny Lind, known as the Swedish Nightingale, sang at the Academy of Music opera house in Northampton, Mass.’
    leading actor, leading actress, leading performer, leading player, leading lady, leading man, lead, star
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    1. 1.1 A famous female singer of popular music.
      ‘a pop diva’
      • ‘"But we never said we were soul divas, " protests Bunton.’
      • ‘The soul singers - the soul divas especially - of the 1990s became notorious for their ranges, their vocal power, their melisma.’
      • ‘She had already become one of the most famous pop divas in the world, because of the Supremes.’
      • ‘So what is next for the reluctant jazz diva?’
      • ‘I've always loved big divas and their music, like Etta James.’
      • ‘The pop diva has a long cherished dream of giving a live performance with K.J. Jesudas.’
      • ‘Beneath that formal newsreader exterior, who could have guessed that there lurked the spirit of a dance music diva?’
      • ‘The rising hip-hop diva has had a lot of good fortune come her way lately.’
      • ‘In the end, I picked as my bachelorette a capricious little blonde with ambitions to be a rock diva.’
      • ‘It's the kind of powerful voice which is more often found on gospel singers than on pop divas, but MacLean makes the transition well.’
      • ‘At 70, the flinty jazz diva took her final bow.’
      • ‘They make fantastically successful pop stars, soul divas and sensitive singer-songwriters.’
      • ‘Well, diva Patti Labelle has been thrilling music fans for more than four decades.’
      • ‘The legendary soul diva of divas makes a welcome return date to Fairfield Concert Hall.’
      • ‘She enlists her portly dog, Bruno, a stolen pedal boat and a trio of aged divas - the former showbiz-queen ‘triplets’ of the title.’
      • ‘But the top act is the eponymous Triplets, sister divas who sing and swing with tireless exhilaration.’
    2. 1.2 A self-important person who is temperamental and difficult to please (typically used of a woman)
      ‘she is much more the dedicated maverick than the petulant diva’
      • ‘David assumed she was going to be a diva but "she's just a regular chick and that surprised me the most."’
      • ‘She's not spoiled, she's not precious, she's not needy and it sets a tone for everybody because if your leading lady isn't going to be a diva then there really isn't room for anybody to be a diva.’
      • ‘Whatever the press says about him being a diva, he's not.’
      • ‘She is a self-centered downtown diva with a head full of attitude.’
      • ‘She never earned the reputation of being 'difficult' or a diva.’
      • ‘She looks lovely, just a shame she is let down by her terrible attitude and diva-like behaviour onset.’
      • ‘Sorry, Jenny, there's no space for diva behaviour here’
      • ‘It's long been rumoured that the singer is a bit of a diva.’
      • ‘Really wish he'd stop being an egotistical diva.’
      • ‘For God's sake, quit being such a diva.’
      • ‘He's a team-first guy without ounce of diva in him.’
      • ‘We all know celebs can be divas at the best of times.’
      • ‘Adam is such a diva!’


Late 19th century: via Italian from Latin, literally ‘goddess’.