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

With a mild eruption at least every 20 minutes, the lava fountain is a sure bet for travelers, says Soldati. Katie Knorovsky, National Geographic, "Discover the best places to witness the wonder of volcanoes," 23 Apr. 2019 Puu Oo's 1983 eruption resulted in lava fountains soaring over 1,500 feet (457 meters) high. Amy Lieu, Lucia I. Suarez Sang, Fox News, "Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano erupts, mandatory evacuations ordered for more than 1,000 people," 2 Oct. 2018 Hartmann realized that this might have been what all those basins had once looked like, before later impact craters and lava flows smeared out detailed features. Timothy Swindle, The Conversation, "Mapping the Moon for Apollo," 15 July 2019 During its last eruption, lava flows came within 4.5 miles of Hilo, the Big Island’s largest city., "Alert level increased for the world’s largest active volcano, Hawaii’s Mauna Loa," 2 July 2019 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

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

17 Aug 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).


not constant or steady

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