1. a sofa or couch, usually without arms or back, often usable as a bed.
  2. a long, cushioned seat, usually without arms or back, placed against a wall, as in Asian countries.
  3. a council of state in Turkey and other countries of the Middle East.
  4. any council, committee, or commission.
  5. (in the Middle East)
    1. a council chamber, judgment hall, audience chamber, or bureau of state.
    2. a large building used for some official or public purpose, as a custom house.
  6. a smoking room, as in connection with a tobacco shop.
  7. a collection of poems, especially a collection in Arabic or Persian of poems by one poet.

adjective (esp. of chicken or turkey breast)

  1. sliced and baked in a casserole with broccoli and hollandaise sauce.


    1. a backless sofa or couch, designed to be set against a wall
    2. a bed resembling such a couch
  1. (esp formerly) a room for smoking and drinking, as in a coffee shop
    1. a Muslim law court, council chamber, or counting house
    2. a Muslim council of state
  2. a collection of poems
  3. (in Muslim law) an account book

1580s, “Oriental council of state,” from Turkish divan, from Arabic diwan, from Persian devan “bundle of written sheets, small book, collection of poems” (as in the “Divan i-Hafiz”), related to debir “writer.”

Sense evolved through “book of accounts,” to “office of accounts,” “custom house,” “council chamber,” then to “long, cushioned seat,” such as are found along the walls in Middle Eastern council chambers (see couch). The sofa/couch sense was taken into English 1702; the “book of poems” sense in 1823.

55 queries 0.615