AskDefine | Define paradise

Dictionary Definition



1 any place of complete bliss and delight and peace [syn: eden, nirvana, heaven, promised land, Shangri-la]
2 (Christianity) the abode of righteous souls after death

User Contributed Dictionary

see Paradise



  • /ˈpærədaɪs/
  • /"pær@daIs/


From etyl grc sc=polytonic, from etyl ae sc=Avst, from sc=Avst and sc=Avst.


  1. A very pleasant place.



  • Arabic: جنة
  • Aramaic:
    Syriac: ܦܪܕܝܣܐ (pardaysā, pardayso)
    Hebrew: פרדיסא (pardaysā, pardayso)
  • Asturian: paraísu
  • Croatian: raj
  • Dutch: paradijs
  • Esperanto: paradizo
  • Finnish: paratiisi
  • French: paradis
  • German: Paradies
  • Icelandic: paradís
  • Italian: paradiso
  • Japanese: 楽園 (らくえん, rakuen), パラダイス (paradaisu)
  • Kurdish: biheşt , cenet , îrem
  • Persian: (pardis)
  • Portuguese: paraíso
  • Spanish: paraíso
  • Serbian: raj
  • Swedish: paradis
Some of these translations are for the capitalised word - move them to the translation tables on that page.

Extensive Definition

Paradise is a Persian word that is generally identified with the Garden of Eden or with Heaven. Originally meaning a walled garden or royal hunting grounds, the term entered Jewish (and eventually Christian) beliefs as a Greek translation for the Garden of Eden in the Septuagint. It is sometimes also identified with the bosom of Abraham, the abode of the righteous dead awaiting Judgment Day. In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus tells a penitent criminal crucified alongside him that they will be together when the Earth is restored to paradise.


The word "paradise" entered English from the French "paradis", inherited from the Latin "paradisus", which came from Greek παραδεισος (royal garden). The Greek word came from the Persian Avestan word "pairidaêza-" (an Eastern Old Iranian language) = "walled enclosure", which is a compound of pairi- (= "around") (a cognate of Greek peri-) and -diz (= "to create, make"), a cognate of English "dough".
An associated word is the Sanskrit word paradēsha = "foreign country" or "supreme country" from Sanskrit para = "beyond" (Greek περα perā) and dēsha = "land, country".
The word also entered Semitic languages: Akkadian pardesu, Arabic firdaws (فردوس), Aramaic pardaysa (ܦܪܕܝܣܐ), and Hebrew pardes.

Paradise gardens

Sources as early as Xenophon in his Anabasis report the famed Persian "paradise" garden. In Achaemenid Persia, possibly earlier (in Mesopotamia?), the term was not just applied to 'landscaped' gardens but especially to royal hunting grounds, the earliest form of wildlife reserve, destined for hunting as a sport; in various cultures in contact with nature, paradise is portrayed as eternal hunting ground, not just in relatively primitive cultures (e.g. native American) but also in more advanced, essentially agricultural civilisations, e.g. the Egyptian Reed fields and the Greek Elysian fields.

Religious use


The form of the word that is now understood as "heaven or any environment that is ultimately pleasurable" is derived from the Greek paradeisos Persian loanword used in the Septuagint (LXX) Bible translation to mean the Garden of Eden. In the New Testament, paradise meant a paradise restored on Earth (Matthew chapter 5, verse 5 - the meek shall inherit the earth), similar to what the Garden of Eden was meant to be. However, certain sects actually attempted to recreate the garden of Eden, e.g. the nudist Adamites. On the cross, Jesus told Dismas that he would be with him in paradeisos (Luke 23:43). There are two other references to Paradise in NT: 2 Cor. 12:4 (there are things beyond human expression), and Rev. 2:7 (there is a tree of life).
In the 2nd century AD, Irenaeus distinguished paradise from heaven. In Against Heresies, he wrote that only those deemed worthy would inherit a home in heaven, while others would enjoy paradise, and the rest live in the restored Jerusalem. Origen likewise distinguished paradise from heaven, describing paradise as the earthly "school" for souls of the righteous dead, preparing them for their ascent through the celestial spheres to heaven.
Fra Angelico's Last Judgement painting shows Paradise on its left side. There is a tree of life (and another tree) and a circle dance of liberated souls. In the middle is a hole. In Muslim art it similarly indicates the presence of the Prophet or divine beings. It visually says, 'Those here cannot be depicted.'


In the Qur'an, Paradise is denoted as "Firdous", the etymologically equivalent word derived from the original Avistan counterpart, and used instead of Heaven to describe the ultimate pleasurable place after death, accessible by those who pray, donate to charity and read the Qur’an. Heaven in Islam is used to describe the Universe. It is also used in the Qur'an to describe skies in the literal sense, i.e., above earth.

Jehovah's Witnesses

Jehovah's Witnesses believe that wicked people will be destroyed at Armageddon and that the righteous (those faithful and obedient to Jehovah) will live eternally in an earthly Paradise. (Psalms 37:9, 10, 29; Prov. 2:21, 22). Joining the survivors will be resurrected righteous and unrighteous people who died prior to Armageddon (John 5:28, 29; Acts 24:15). The latter are brought back because they paid for their sins by their death, and/or also because they lacked opportunity to learn of Jehovah's requirements prior to dying (Rom. 6:23). These will be judged on the basis of their post-resurrection obedience to instructions revealed in new "scrolls" (Rev. 20:12). This provision does not apply to those that Jehovah deems to have sinned against his holy spirit (Matt. 12:31, Luke 12:5).


In Latter Day Saint theology, paradise usually refers to the spirit world. That is, the place where spirits dwell following death and awaiting the resurrection. In that context, "paradise" is the state of the righteous after death. In contrast, the wicked and those who have not yet learned the gospel of Jesus Christ await the resurrection in spirit prison. After the universal resurrection, all persons will be assigned to a particular kingdom or degree of glory. This may also be termed "paradise".
paradise in Arabic: جنة
paradise in German: Himmel (religiös)
paradise in German: Paradies
paradise in Modern Greek (1453-): Παράδεισος
paradise in Spanish: Paraíso
paradise in Esperanto: Paradizo
paradise in Persian: پردیس
paradise in French: Paradis
paradise in Herero: Oparadisa
paradise in Indonesian: Sorga
paradise in Italian: Paradiso
paradise in Japanese: 天国
paradise in Dutch: Paradijs
paradise in Herero: Oparadisa
paradise in Polish: Niebo
paradise in Portuguese: Paraíso
paradise in Romanian: Rai
paradise in Russian: Рай
paradise in Scots: Hieven
paradise in Albanian: Parajsa
paradise in Simple English: Paradise
paradise in Serbian: Рај
paradise in Swedish: Paradis (olika betydelser)
paradise in Ukrainian: Рай
paradise in Chinese: 天國

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Agapemone, Arcadia, Avalon, Big Rock-Candy Mountain, Canaan, Celestial City, City of God, Civitas Dei, Cloudcuckooland, Cockaigne, Eden, Eldorado, Elysium, Erewhon, Garden of Eden, Goshen, Happy Valley, Indian reservation, Japanese garden, Land of Beulah, Land of Youth, Laputa, Never-Never-land, Neverland, New Atlantis, New Jerusalem, Pandemonium, Quivira, Shangri-la, Utopia, Valhalla, Zion, alpine garden, arboretum, arcadia, archives, auditorium, balcony, bank, beatification, beatitude, bed, bewitchment, bird sanctuary, blessedness, bliss, blissfulness, bog garden, border, botanical garden, box, box seat, cheer, cheerfulness, cloud nine, cloudland, common, commons, delectation, delight, dreamland, dress circle, dry garden, dystopia, ecstasy, ecstatics, elation, elysium, empyrean, enchantment, exaltation, exhilaration, exuberance, faerie, fairyland, fauteuil, felicity, flower bed, flower garden, forest preserve, gaiety, gallery, game reserve, garden, garden spot, gladness, glee, grape ranch, grapery, happiness, happy hunting ground, heaven, heavenly kingdom, herbarium, high spirits, hortus siccus, intoxication, jardin, joy, joyance, joyfulness, kakotopia, kingdom come, kitchen garden, land of dreams, land of enchantment, land of faerie, land of plenty, land of promise, library, loge, lotus land, market garden, millennium, museum, national forest, national park, nigger heaven, nirvana, orchestra, orchestra circle, ornamental garden, overhappiness, overjoyfulness, park, parquet, parquet circle, parterre, peanut gallery, pinetum, pit, pleasance, pleasure garden, pleasure ground, preserve, promised land, proscenium boxes, public park, rapture, ravishment, reservation, reserve, rock garden, roof garden, sanctuary, seventh heaven, shrubbery, stall, standing room, state forest, store, sunken garden, sunshine, tea garden, theatre stall, transport, truck garden, unalloyed happiness, utopia, vegetable garden, victory garden, vinery, vineyard, wilderness preserve, wildlife preserve, wonderlandBeulah, Beulah Land, Heaven, Land of Beulah, a better place, afterlife, afterworld, better world, destiny, eternal home, eternity, fate, future state, glory, happy hunting ground, heaven above, heavenly kingdom, high heaven, home, kingdom come, kingdom of God, kingdom of glory, kingdom of heaven, life after death, life to come, next world, otherworld, postexistence, presence of God, realm of light, the Promised Land, the beyond, the good hereafter, the grave, the great beyond, the great hereafter, the happy land, the hereafter, the unknown, the world above, what bodes, what is fated, world to come
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