Definition of diwan in English:


(also dewan)


  • 1(in Islamic societies) a central finance department, chief administrative office, or regional governing body.

    ‘The Arabic chancery, the diwan, now played a major role in cultivating a new dynastical image through a variety of symbols, administrative and material.’
  • 2historical A chief treasury official, finance minister, or prime minister in some Indian states.

    • ‘Shortly after arriving in Hyderabad, he fell in love with the great niece of the diwan of Hyderabad, whom he married in 1800 according to Muslim law.’
    • ‘It may be recalled that the 4.5 acre land of the estate in the heart of Bangalore is a property dedicated by the family of the late dewan of the kingdom's ruler.’
    • ‘The Nawab agreed on condition that the dewan paid for the required piece of land by spreading as many Gold coins as would cover the entire spot.’
    member of the government, political leader, cabinet minister, secretary of state, secretary, undersecretary, department head, privy counsellor, politician


Urdu, from Persian dīwān ‘fiscal register’; compare with divan.