Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Buddhism The ineffable ultimate in which one has attained disinterested wisdom and compassion.
  • n. Hinduism Emancipation from ignorance and the extinction of all attachment.
  • n. An ideal condition of rest, harmony, stability, or joy.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. complete cessation of suffering; a blissful state attained through realization of sunyata; enlightened experience.
  • n. state of paradise; heightened or great pleasure.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. In the Buddhist system of religion, the final emancipation of the soul from transmigration, and consequently a beatific enfrachisement from the evils of worldly existence, as by annihilation or absorption into the divine. See Buddhism.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In Buddhism, the condition of a Buddha; the state to which the Buddhist saint is to aspire as the highest aim and highest good.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. (Hinduism and Buddhism) the beatitude that transcends the cycle of reincarnation; characterized by the extinction of desire and suffering and individual consciousness
  • n. any place of complete bliss and delight and peace

Etymologies

Sanskrit nirvāṇam, a blowing out, extinction, nirvana : nis-, nir-, out, away + vāti, it blows; see wē- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Sanskrit निर्वाण (nir-vāṇa, "blown or put out, extinguished") (Wiktionary)

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