Definition of nirvana in English:



mass noun
  • 1(in Buddhism) a transcendent state in which there is neither suffering, desire, nor sense of self, and the subject is released from the effects of karma and the cycle of death and rebirth. It represents the final goal of Buddhism.

    • ‘The answer to the problem of suffering does not lie in a better rebirth in the cycle of reincarnation - only nirvana offers a final solution.’
    • ‘The fundamental teaching of the Buddha is the four dharma seals: impermanence, no-self, suffering and nirvana, or peace.’
    • ‘In mahayana Buddhism, a bodhisattva is an enlightened being who forgoes nirvana and vows to take rebirth again and again in order to save all sentient beings from suffering.’
    • ‘Transcendental concepts like Buddhahood and nirvana may well represent our ultimate goal, but we will never become a Buddha by ignoring our immediate human condition.’
    • ‘Yet this unconditional state gives rise to all conditional things - all the experiences of samsara and nirvana, confusion and wisdom, conceptual perplexities, emotional conflicts, and so on.’
    paradise, heaven, eden, the promised land
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1
      another term for moksha
      • ‘And they call liberation moksha and not nirvana as suggested by the author.’
      • ‘They alone are allowed to touch the Linga because they have received the proper initiations, especially the nirvana diksha.’
    2. 1.2 An ideal or idyllic state or place.
      ‘the days of socialist nirvana in Europe are over’
      • ‘This is true gear-head nirvana, where rapier-shaped chrome speedboats with names like Lick This and Eliminator roast the water.’
      • ‘Most cyclists yearn for a nirvana where there are no hills and the prevailing wind is always at your back.’
      • ‘But we have to operate in the real world, not some socialist nirvana that simply does not work.’
      • ‘Add a Bluetooth GPS and you are in momentary geek nirvana.’
      • ‘For a guy who basks in the limelight, it was nirvana.’
      • ‘One such movement is feminism, which claims the path to social nirvana is the liberation of women and the creation of a genderless society.’
      • ‘It was a beautiful dream, a path to digital nirvana we had all hoped for but never dared to expect.’
      • ‘She does not deserve to be offered the ultimate nirvana of a council house, and all that that entails, to replace her broken or unfulfilled dream of playing house with her dollies.’
      • ‘By any measure, Ireland today is a nirvana for young affluent gay men and women.’
      • ‘Once we experienced the nirvana of the forward cabin, there was no going back to coach.’
      • ‘Business dreamed of the nirvana of frictionless commerce.’
      • ‘‘The left perspective is that if we get big money out of politics we'll have a Marxist nirvana,’ he says.’
      • ‘So competition, privatisation, is not always able to deliver the nirvana that some people like to promise.’
      • ‘Either way, the economy is far from a nirvana for women.’
      • ‘In their quest to attain the nirvana of loyal consumers buying their brands and ignoring the competition, fashion firms have created lifestyle licensing.’
      • ‘But a funny thing happened on the way to this war-based Republican nirvana.’
      • ‘But then, this is nirvana for these gamers, whose eyes gleam with menace as they extinguish yet another virtual life.’
      • ‘Sadly, research doesn't back up the idea that women have reached a nirvana of liberated sexuality.’
      • ‘For about two decades, it seemed to many that a new national nirvana, an alternative to revolutionary socialist internationalism, had been discovered.’
      • ‘There was the 1961 Toothill Report promising Scottish economic nirvana through science-based industries.’
      ideal place, paradise, heaven, heaven on earth, eden, garden of eden, shangri-la, elysium, the elysian fields, happy valley, seventh heaven, idyll, bliss
      View synonyms


From Sanskrit nirvāṇa, from nirvā ‘be extinguished’, from nis ‘out’ + vā- ‘to blow’.