The dictionary definition of a diva is, quite simply, ‘a distinguished female singer’. It was first used to describe the great opera singers in the 1880s, but the word has taken on additional nuances over time. Just as 'prima donna', literally the 'first woman' or lead female in a production, has come to mean someone who behaves temperamentally (probably because so many of the 'first ladies' let that title go to their heads), diva is not as straightforward as the dictionary would have us believe.