nir·va·na (nîr-vänə, nər-)
1. often Nirvana
a. Buddhism A state in which the mind, enlightened as to the illusory nature of the self, transcends all suffering and attains peace.
b. Hinduism A state in which the soul, having relinquished individual attachments and recognized its identity with Brahman, escapes samsara.
2. An ideal condition of rest, harmony, stability, or joy.
[Sanskrit nirvāṇam, a blowing out, extinction, nirvana : nis-, nir-, out, away + vāti, it blows; see wē- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.