la·va | \ˈlä-və, ˈla- \

Definition of lava 

: molten rock that issues from a volcano or from a fissure in the surface of a planet (such as earth) or moon also : such rock that has cooled and hardened

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Other Words from lava

lavalike \ˈlä-və-ˌlīk, ˈla- \ adjective

Examples of lava in a Sentence

a flow of molten lava

Recent Examples on the Web

The mass of hardened lava is the size of more than 292 football fields. Jay Jones,, "Kilauea's eruption is reshaping Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Say goodbye to the popular lava lake," 21 June 2018 The thick, gooey, molten magma has shifted into a wider, hotter flowing river of lava traveling about 200 yards per hour. Barnini Chakraborty, Fox News, "Hundreds of Kilauea survivors seek FEMA help as volcano rages on," 19 June 2018 Hawaii's Kilauea volcano is producing wide river of lava stretching all the way to the ocean. USA TODAY, "Lava from Kilauea volcano is now hotter, more fluid," 18 June 2018 Its size, meanwhile, depends on the volume of lava falling into the sea. NBC News, "What is 'laze'? Toxic gas plume created by Hawaii volcano," 22 May 2018 The goal is to create a simulation of these hard chunks of lava hitting the ground and kicking up dirt. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "The Secrets of Summer 2018's Greatest Movie Stunts and Effects," 20 June 2018 The eruption temperature of Kīlauea lava is a scalding 2,140 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the USGS. Faith Karimi, CNN, "Hawaii volcano's bubbling lava is enough to cover Manhattan," 8 June 2018 The threat of lava from fissures in the East Rift Zone on Hawaii's Big Island near Kilauea have forced nearly 2,000 people — including from Leilani Estates — to leave since eruptions began nearly three weeks ago. NBC News, "In Hawaii, a family says goodbye to home passed from father to son," 24 May 2018 Puna has thick jungle as well as dark fields of lava rock from past eruptions. CBS News, "New vents spewing lava, gas open up in Hawaii neighborhood," 8 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lava.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of lava

1759, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for lava

Italian, ultimately from Latin labes fall; akin to Latin labi to slide — more at sleep

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Statistics for lava

Last Updated

12 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for lava

The first known use of lava was in 1759

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More Definitions for lava



English Language Learners Definition of lava

: melted rock from a volcano


la·va | \ˈlä-və, ˈla-\

Kids Definition of lava

: melted rock coming from a volcano or after it has cooled and hardened

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More from Merriam-Webster on lava

See words that rhyme with lava

Spanish Central: Translation of lava

Nglish: Translation of lava for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about lava

Comments on lava

What made you want to look up lava? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


evasion of direct action or statement

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