Skip Nav
Win Halloween With These 69 Movie-Inspired Couples Costume Ideas
Must Haves
These 15 Sexy New Reads Will Make For a Sizzling September
I Tried This Warming Edible Massage Oil, and It Literally Heated Things Up in the Best Way

Disecting the Word "Diva"

Disecting the Word "Diva"

As I watched Paula Abdul, Kelly Clarkson, Leona Lewis, Jennifer Hudson, and Miley Cyrus perform on VH1's Diva show last night I kept thinking: what exactly is a diva?

So I looked it up in the dictionary and found a variety of definitions. I discovered that the word "diva" is derived from the Italian word for a female deity, or goddess. It's also the word for a female opera singer. And here are some of the more commonly used definitions I found:


  • an admired, glamorous, or distinguished woman
  • a haughty, spoiled woman

It seems to qualify as a diva you have to have some special mix of talent and eccentricity. Do you consider yourself a diva?

Image Source: Getty
Join The Conversation
VicVicVictooriaa VicVicVictooriaa 8 years
miley cyrus? really?
Pistil Pistil 8 years
I think it can be someone who is an accomplished singer, or someone who is demanding with a gross sense of entitlement, or both. I am none of the above.
PeachyKeen19 PeachyKeen19 8 years
I agree with the first poster but in life many people aspire to be like the classic operatic stars (who varied from eccentric to spoiled but always with some degree of talent). Now it just means spoiled and that's meant as some compliment, what does that say about our society? It's become pejorative as another poster mentioned. So for me to use it genuinely I would have to use it for an Opera star, to apply it in my day to day life to a women is a diss or derogatory.
Spacekatdude Spacekatdude 8 years
I think an essential component in the "Diva" thing is a focus on self. This can be good - like Annie Lennox's album entitled "Diva", her first solo album, where she explored music she couldn't have done in the context of her old band the Eurythmics. A celebration of self. Or it can be bad, as in the case of Sarah Palin. Where everything becomes about ego and defensiveness and isolation and small-mindedness.
HoneyBrown1976 HoneyBrown1976 8 years
None of the girls on that show are divas just yet. They still have miles to go before they approach the steps Whitney, Diana, Mariah, Janet, Cher, and Madonna have reached.
jazzytummy jazzytummy 8 years
Diva to me is derogatory.. When someone says "she is such a diva", it makes me think the person is a selfish, spoiled a$$hole.
Chrstne Chrstne 8 years
I am admired and distinguished...and I absolutely do not consider myself a diva. I just happen to be well liked and all of that. I carry myself well, and I don't act like a moron, but I don't think being a diva is that. When I think diva, I think Mariah Carey -- the holier-than-thou type of person.
weffie weffie 8 years
I've always known it in the operatic sense, but since the early 90s the word "Diva" always makes me picture Aunt Viv & Will's mom on Fresh Prince when they haven't seen each other for a while haha
Zoe Saldana's The Edit Interview July 2016
Diversity in Cheerleading
Who Has Jared Leto Dated?
Queen Letizia's Best Coats
From Our Partners
Latest Love
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds