na·​vic·​u·​la | \ nəˈvikyələ \

Definition of navicula

1 plural -s : an incense boat
2a capitalized : a very large genus (the type of the family Naviculaceae) of diatoms having a lanceolate or boat-shaped usually free-floating frustule covered with minute striae
b -s : a plant of the genus Navicula

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

History and Etymology for navicula

in sense 1, from Medieval Latin, from Latin, small ship, diminutive of Latin navis ship; in sense 2, New Latin, from Latin

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about navicula

Statistics for navicula

Cite this Entry

“Navicula.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Apr. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Comments on navicula

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Flower Edition

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!