Definition of divan in English:

divan

Syllabification: di·van
Pronunciation: /dəˈvan
 
, ˈdīˌvan
 
/

noun

1 /diˈvan, ˈdīvan/ A long low sofa without a back or arms, typically placed against a wall.
More example sentences
  • They piled out into a bigger room with several worn couches and divans.
  • I spotted Jonas and his friends lounging on ornate, divan couches in the ‘mirror’ room.
  • She pulled the low writing desk to the divan, and reached into the jar.
Synonyms
2 /diˈvan, ˈdīvan/ historical A legislative body, council chamber, or court of justice in the Ottoman Empire or elsewhere in the Middle East.
More example sentences
  • The king holds court in the divan, where citizens can make requests or express complaints.
  • The palace comprises tall, elaborately decorated rooms where the Khan held his divans, or council meetings.
  • Every year the divan, the ruling council of the Pirate Republic of Bou Regreg met to elect two officers for the year.

Origin

late 16th century (sense 2): via French or Italian from Turkish dīvān, from Persian dīwān 'anthology, register, court, or bench'; compare with diwan. As a piece of furniture, a divan was originally (early 18th century) a low bench or raised section of floor used as a long seat against the wall of a room, common in Middle Eastern countries; European imitation of this led to the sense 'low flat sofa or bed' (late 19th century).

Definition of divan in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day anomalous
Pronunciation: əˈnɒm(ə)ləs
adjective
deviating from what is standard, normal, or expected