Definition of divan in English:


Line breaks: divan
Pronunciation: /dɪˈvan
, dʌɪˈvan
, ˈdʌɪvan


1 (also divan bed) British A bed consisting of a base and mattress but no footboard or headboard.
More example sentences
  • For example, instead of putting a lavish bed into the bedroom we bought a standard divan bed and had a headboard made.
  • In drawers under the divan bed were four large bags of herbal cannabis and five smaller bags.
  • He found Mullen hiding inside the divan bed and he detained him until the police returned.
2A long, low sofa without a back or arms.
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.
3 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 (in sense 3): 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 against an interior wall, used as a long seat and 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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