AskDefine | Define diva

Dictionary Definition

diva n : a distinguished female operatic singer; a female operatic star [syn: prima donna] [also: dive (pl)]

User Contributed Dictionary



From diva (“diva, goddess”), from Latin diva (“goddess”), female of divus (“divine, divine one”).



  1. prima donna, the principal female singer of an opera company, or opera star.
  2. A principal female in some other field, e.g. a prima ballerina.
  3. Any female celebrity, usually a well known pop singer.
  4. A person who considers herself (or by extension himself) much more important than others, has high expectations of others and becomes angry when their standards or demands are not met.


opera star
  • German: Diva
  • Hungarian: díva
a principal female in some other field
  • Hungarian: díva
any female celebrity
  • German: Diva
  • Hungarian: díva
a person who considers herself much more important than others
  • German: Diva
  • Hungarian: díva



(Masculine: divo)
  1. goddess
  2. star (female, especially a singer)

Extensive Definition

However, the term is now also used to refer to an outstanding popular female performer of non-operatic works, such as Madonna, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, Alicia Keys, Björk, Beyonce, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, Patti Labelle, Barbra Streisand, Gloria Estefan, Cher, Tina Turner who are often referred to as divas due to their success and talent.
Also, some prominent women adored in gay male pop culture are referred to as divas, such as Taborah, Kathy Griffin, Joy Behar, and Joan Rivers.
The term was originally used to describe a woman of rare, outstanding talent. It derives from the Italian word 'diva' meaning "goddess" or "fine lady" TIME magazine observed in its October 21, 2002 issue: "By definition, a diva was originally used for great female opera singers, almost always sopranos."
In ballet, the equivalent of a diva is a prima ballerina assoluta.

Negative connotation

The term is often used with a negative connotation. This derives from the implication that a star who is a "diva" is arrogant, difficult to work with, high-maintenance, manipulative, fussy, highly strung, privileged and demanding. He or she does not believe the law and accepted rules of courtesy apply to him or her. Professional actors often use this term to describe someone who desires the stage spotlight over others. Actress Debra Winger has been described as the "biggest diva in Hollywood".
The term "prima donna" has similarly entered common usage with exactly the same negative meaning.

Professional wrestling

The term Diva is also often used in World Wrestling Entertainment to describe its more well-known female performers, such as Mickie James, Candice Michelle, Melina Perez and Torrie Wilson.

External links

diva in Danish: Diva
diva in German: Diva
diva in French: Diva (musique classique)
diva in Malay (macrolanguage): Diva
diva in Finnish: Diiva
diva in Swedish: Diva
diva in Vietnamese: Diva

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Heldentenor, Meistersinger, alto, aria singer, baritenor, baritone, bass, basso, basso buffo, basso cantante, basso profundo, blues singer, canary, cantatrice, cantor, caroler, chanter, chantress, coloratura soprano, comic bass, contralto, countertenor, crooner, danseur noble, deep bass, dramatic soprano, feature attraction, first tragedian, headliner, heavy lead, hero, heroic tenor, heroine, hymner, improvisator, jeune premier, lead, lead singer, leading lady, leading man, lieder singer, melodist, mezzo-soprano, opera singer, prima ballerina, prima donna, principal, protagonist, psalm singer, rock-and-roll singer, singer, singstress, songbird, songster, songstress, soprano, star, superstar, tenor, torch singer, vocalist, vocalizer, voice, warbler, yodeler
Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1