A diva (//; Italian: [ˈdiːva]) is a celebrated female singer; 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, the feminine of the Latin word divus (Italian divo), someone deified after death, or Latin deus, a god. 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; the word is also cognate with the Avestan term denoting the Zoroastrian concept of the Daevas and with the Lithuanian word deivė, meaning a female deity.
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".
See also 
- Online Etymology Dictionary
- TIME magazine observed in its October 21, 2002, issue: "By definition, a diva was originally used for great female opera singers, almost always sopranos."
- Warrack, John and West, Ewan (1992), The Oxford Dictionary of Opera
- Devi, a Proto-Indo-European Goddess. Piereligion.org.
- "Vamps, camps and archetypes: gay men, the diva phenomenon and the inner feminine" by Andrew Milnes (2002)
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