The pop superstar used the misconstrued term when appearing on the Spotify talk show Archetypes in an episode that was broadcast on Tuesday.
Ms Markle said in a voiceover at the end of the show that she was worried Ms Carey had bought into the “nonsense” written in the tabloid press about her.
The word diva can, the Oxford dictionary cites, mean: “A self-important person who is temperamental and difficult to please.”
The 52-year-old singer has responded by saying she did mean the term in a positive way.
She tweeted on Friday: “Really enjoyed talking to Duchess and Diva Meghan Markle about “The Duality of Diva.” Yes! I called her a diva, in the most fabulous, gorgeous, and empowering meaning of the word!!! #Archetypes.”
Really enjoyed talking to Duchess and Diva Meghan Markle about “The Duality of Diva.” Yes! I called her a diva, in the most fabulous, gorgeous, and empowering meaning of the word!!! #Archetypes https://t.co/sOOQ25RoeB
— Mariah Carey (@MariahCarey) September 2, 2022
The episode drew more positive reviews from critics than the first in the series, which featured tennis star Serena Williams.
She also said her life became more “focused on race,” after she started dating Prince Harry while Ms Carey detailed her own self identity problems growing up in New York.
During the 46-minute episode, Carey told the former Suits actress: “You give us diva moments sometimes, Meghan. Don’t even act like …” with an aghast duchess responding and laughing in surprise: “What kind of diva moments do I give you?”
Speaking at the end of the podcast, Meghan said: “It was all going swimmingly, I mean really well, until that moment happened, which I don’t know about you but it stopped me in my tracks when she called me a diva.”
Meghan added: “You couldn’t see me, obviously, but I started to sweat a little bit. I started squirming in my chair in this quiet revolt. Like wait. What? No. What? How could you? That’s not true. Why would you say that?
“My mind genuinely was just spinning with what nonsense she must have read or clicked on to make her say that.”
The duchess said Carey was quick to reassure her and that she meant the label as “chic” and “aspirational”.
Meghan said: “She must have felt my nervous laughter and you all would have heard it too, and she jumped right in to make sure I was crystal clear.
“When she said diva, she was talking about the way that I dress, the posture of a clothing, a quote unquote fabulousness as she sees it.
“She meant diva as a compliment. I heard it as a dig. Heard it as the word diva as I think of it, but in that moment, as she explained to me, she meant it as chic, as aspirational.”