Definition of divan in English:


Syllabification: di·van


  • 2 /diˈvan, -ˈvän/ • 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.


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).

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