nova

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

nova

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 novalike (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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about nova

Statistics for nova

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for nova

The first known use of nova was in 1927

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on nova

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for nova

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about nova

Comments on nova

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to shake or wave menacingly

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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