Deva (/ˈdeɪvə/; Sanskrit: देव, Deva) means “heavenly, divine, anything of excellence”, and is also one of the terms for a deity in Hinduism. Deva is a masculine term; the feminine equivalent is Devi.
In the earliest Vedic literature, all supernatural beings are called Devas and Asuras.
The concepts and legends evolve in ancient Indian literature, and by the late Vedic period, benevolent supernatural beings are referred to as Deva-Asuras. In post-Vedic texts, such as the Puranas and the Itihasas of Hinduism, the Devas represent the good, and the Asuras the bad.
In some medieval Indian literature, Devas are also referred to as Suras and contrasted with their equally powerful but malevolent half-brothers, referred to as the Asuras.
Devas, along with Asuras, Yakshas (nature spirits) and Rakshasas (ghoulish ogres/demons), are part of Indian mythology, and Devas feature in many cosmological theories in Hinduism.