Elaborately-costumed camp diva

A diva (English pronunciation: /ˈdiːvə/, Italian: [ˈdiːva]) is a celebrated female singer. The term is used to describe a woman of outstanding talent in the world of opera, and, by extension, in theatre, cinema and popular music. The meaning of diva is closely related to that of "prima donna".

The word entered the English language in the late 19th century. It is derived from the Italian noun diva, a female deity. The plural of the word in English is "divas"; in Italian, dive [ˈdiːve]. The basic sense of the term is "goddess",[1][2] the feminine of the Latin word divus (Italian divo), someone deified after death, or Latin deus, a god.[3] The word is cognate with the Hindu term "Devi" meaning goddess (masculine "Deva" meaning god) which in turn originates from the ancient Sanskrit language, one of the earliest Indo-European languages;[4][5] the word is also cognate with the Avestan term denoting the Zoroastrian concept of the Daevas.

The male form divo exists in Italian and is usually reserved for the most prominent leading tenors, like Enrico Caruso and Beniamino Gigli. The Italian term divismo describes the star-making system in the film industry. In contemporary Italian, diva and divo simply denote much-admired celebrities, especially film actresses and actors, and can be translated as "(film) star".

An extravagant admiration for divas is a common element of camp culture.[6] In contemporary US slang usage, the term "diva" may be used to signify the female version of a "hustla", exemplified by Beyoncé's 2009 song "Diva".[7]

See also


  1. ^ Online Etymology Dictionary
  2. ^ TIME magazine observed in its October 21, 2002 issue: "By definition, a diva was originally used for great female opera singers, almost always sopranos."
  3. ^ Warrack, John and West, Ewan (1992), The Oxford Dictionary of Opera, 782 pages
  4. ^ Burrow (2001:?)
  5. ^ Devi, a Proto-Indo-European Goddess
  6. ^ "Vamps, camps and archetypes: gay men, the diva phenomenon and the inner feminine" by Andrew Milnes (2002)
  7. ^ "Growing girls into powerful women" by Otis R. Taylor Jr., The State (29 August 2010)

External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • diva — diva …   Dictionnaire des rimes

  • Diva — Diva …   Deutsch Wörterbuch

  • diva — [ diva ] n. f. • 1831; mot it. « déesse » ♦ Cantatrice en renom. Des caprices de diva. Par ext. Chanteuse célèbre. Les divas du rock. ● diva nom féminin (italien diva, déesse) Cantatrice célèbre par son talent, sa réputation. (Se dit de… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Diva — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Para otro uso, véase Diva (single). En música clásica, una diva es una cantante de renombre que se caracteriza por tener una voz excepcional. En latín y en italiano, la palabra diva significa «divina» y es la forma… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Diva — – Plural Diven, auch weniger gebräuchlich Divas – rührt von der weiblichen Form des lateinischen und italienischen divus „göttlich“ her. In der römischen Antike standen die Attribute divus und diva nur Göttern bzw. Göttinnen zu, so auch den… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • divă — DÍVĂ, dive, s.f. (Adesea glumeţ sau ir.) Artistă foarte admirată de public. – Din it., fr. diva. Trimis de LauraGellner, 02.11.2006. Sursa: DEX 98  DÍVĂ s. v. star. Trimis de siveco, 13.09.2007. Sursa: Sinonime  DÍVĂ s …   Dicționar Român

  • DiVA — Pays d’origine  Japon Genre musical Pop Années d activité 2011 Labels Avex Trax …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Diva — Sf gefeierte Künstlerin erw. fremd. Erkennbar fremd (17. Jh.) Entlehnung. Entlehnt aus it. diva die Göttliche (aus l. dīvus, dīva göttlich , zu l. deus m. Gott ). Diva ist eines der aus romanischen Sprachen entlehnten Wörter, die durch… …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • Diva — «Diva»  песня Даны Интернэшнел, с которой она победила на Евровидении 98 «Diva»  первый сольный альбом шотландской певицы и автора песен Энни Леннокс «Diva»  сингл американской певицы Бейонсе с альбома I Am... Sasha Fierce… …   Википедия

  • Diva — Diva: Die Bezeichnung für »gefeierte Künstlerin« wurde zunächst Mitte des 17. Jh.s aus lat. diva »Göttin« entlehnt, dann im 19. Jh. aus gleichbed. it. diva neu entlehnt. Es bezeichnet also die abgöttisch verehrte Künstlerin. Zugrunde liegt lat.… …   Das Herkunftswörterbuch

  • diva — distinguished woman singer, prima donna, 1883, from It. diva goddess, fine lady, from L. diva goddess, fem. of divus divine (one); see DIVINE (Cf. divine) (adj.) …   Etymology dictionary

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