Part of speech: noun
Origin: Sanskrit, 1830s
Colloquially, a state of perfect bliss and peace
In Buddhism, the end of the cycle of reincarnation, attained by reaching a state of complete enlightenment
Examples of Nirvana in a sentence
"After a stressful year at work, the week at the spa was nirvana for her."
"When he started studying Buddhism, he was fascinated by the idea of achieving Nirvana."
Popularity Over Time
Nirvana is a Sanskrit word that means the act of extinguishing. It is the ultimate goal of the Buddhist path — release from samsara, or the cycle of rebirth and reincarnation. One can achieve Nirvana by extinguishing the three personal fires: passion, aversion, and ignorance. Now the term nirvana can be applied to any state of extreme bliss, but it’s helpful to understand the Buddhist roots.
Did you Know?
Kurt Cobain, the singer and guitarist of the rock band Nirvana, said, “I wanted a name that was kind of beautiful or nice and pretty instead of a mean, raunchy punk name." Nirvana certainly conjures up images quite different than, say, Black Sabbath.