- 1 /diˈvan, ˈdīˌvan/ 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.
- 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).