- (often initial capital letter) Pali nibbana. Buddhism. freedom from the endless cycle of personal reincarnations, with their consequent suffering, as a result of the extinction of individual passion, hatred, and delusion: attained by the Arhat as his goal but postponed by the Bodhisattva.
- (often initial capital letter) Hinduism. salvation through the union of Atman with Brahma; moksha.
- a place or state characterized by freedom from or oblivion to pain, worry, and the external world.
- Buddhism Hinduism final release from the cycle of reincarnation attained by extinction of all desires and individual existence, culminating (in Buddhism) in absolute blessedness, or (in Hinduism) in absorption into Brahman
1836, from Sanskrit nirvana-s “extinction, disappearance” (of the individual soul into the universal), literally “to blow out, a blowing out” (“not transitively, but as a fire ceases to draw;” a literal Latinization would be de-spiration), from nis-, nir- “out” + va- “to blow” (see wind (n.1)). Figurative sense of “perfect bliss” is from 1895.