noun (1)
no·​va | \ ˈnō-və How to pronounce nova (audio) \
plural novas or novae\ ˈnō-​(ˌ)vē How to pronounce nova (audio) , -​ˌvī \

Definition of nova

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a star that suddenly increases its light output tremendously and then fades away to its former obscurity in a few months or years


noun (2), often capitalized

Definition of nova (Entry 2 of 2)

: cured and smoked salmon especially : salmon that has been cured in a mixture of salt and sugar and smoked at a low temperature

Other Words from nova

Noun (1)

novalike \ ˈnō-​və-​ˌlīk How to pronounce nova (audio) \ adjective

First Known Use of nova

Noun (1)

1927, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1964, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for nova

Noun (1)

borrowed from New Latin, "newly visible star or nebula" (probably originally as ellipsis of nebula nova, later taken as ellipsis of stella nova "new star"), from feminine of Latin novus "new" — more at new entry 1

Noun (2)

short for Nova Scotia salmon

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Cite this Entry

“Nova.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 May. 2021.

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