la·​va | \ ˈlä-və How to pronounce lava (audio) , ˈla- How to pronounce lava (audio) \

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 How to pronounce lavalike (audio) , ˈla-​ \ adjective

Examples of lava in a Sentence

a flow of molten lava

Recent Examples on the Web

Two miles farther on, Rainbow Falls tumbles 101 feet over a lava ledge. Katherine Rodeghier, Dallas News, "Discover Mammoth Lakes, Yosemite’s lesser-known neighbor," 16 July 2019 The way her girlfriend held O’Hara’s face just about melted me into a pile of molten lesbian lava. Jill Gutowitz, Glamour, "This Is How You Come Out in 2019," 9 July 2019 One of the firms, Orbit Beyond of Edison, New Jersey, intends to send a lander to the Mare Imbrium lava plain on the Moon as early as the third quarter of 2020. Alexandra Witze, Scientific American, "Can NASA Really Return People to the Moon by 2024?," 9 July 2019 What was a pearl white instrument became covered in a green lava-like substance. Julian Gill, Houston Chronicle, "Video shows mesmerizing guitar-dyeing process at workshop in Houston," 5 July 2019 Mayor Marco Giorgianni told the news agency ANSA on Thursday that about 100 people evacuated the island after a violent eruption sent glowing lapilli and lava spewing into the air, setting off a series of blazes. Washington Post, "Italy firefighters douse fires on Stromboli after eruptions," 5 July 2019 The winery is serving up a scoop over its chocolate molten lava cake. Shauna Stuart |,, "Wine ice cream? Corbin Farms Winery and Burnette Farms Market are making it happen," 5 July 2019 The volcano has produced voluminous flows of lava that have reached the ocean at least eight times since 1868, and twice its eruptions have destroyed villages, in 1926 and 1950. Reuters, The Mercury News, "Alert level raised at Hawaiian volcano Mauna Loa," 2 July 2019 If on July 20, 1969, a giant man-eating moon lizard had emerged from a lava tube and chased Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin back into the lunar lander, NASA would have described this as an off-nominal event requiring a contingency procedure. Anchorage Daily News, "How did NASA put men on the moon? One harrowing step at a time.," 23 June 2019

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

20 Jul 2019

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 How to pronounce lava (audio) , 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

Rhyming Dictionary: 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).


an act or instance of editing or removing

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