no·​ve·​na nō-ˈvē-nə How to pronounce novena (audio)
: a Roman Catholic period of prayer lasting nine consecutive days

Examples of novena in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web According to legend, the Sisters of Loretto prayed a nine-day novena to St. Joseph, patron saint of Carpenters, for help building a staircase to the choir loft. Evie Carrick, Travel + Leisure, 29 Mar. 2024 Intercessions and novenas were prayed in hopes that God would miraculously heal Ian of his sickness. Josh Holdenried, National Review, 5 May 2023 This month, parishes across Southern California offered a novena, or nine days of intentional prayer, to St. Dymphna ahead of her feast day on Sunday as part of a recent push to create a more welcoming environment for those who suffer from mental afflictions. Los Angeles Times, 14 May 2022 The nine-day novena devoted to the Blessed Mother of Jesus is observed and celebrated by Filipino Catholics around the world. Susan Degrane, Chicago Tribune, 18 Dec. 2022 The Catholic practice of a novena, or nine consecutive days of prayer, is a petition for divine favor. Dallas News, 16 Feb. 2022 Under normal circumstances, her family and friends would have gathered to pray a novena for nine days. Sarah Freishtat,, 30 Dec. 2020 But the novena for Ugalde, who Iniguez has described as the center of the family, was over Zoom. Sarah Freishtat,, 30 Dec. 2020 Each day of the novena, the procession has a different route, each a symbolic one. Laura Rodríguez Presa,, 8 Dec. 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'novena.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Medieval Latin, from Latin, feminine of novenus nine each, from novem

First Known Use

1853, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of novena was in 1853

Dictionary Entries Near novena

Cite this Entry

“Novena.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


no·​ve·​na nō-ˈvē-nə How to pronounce novena (audio)
plural novenas or novenae
: a Roman Catholic devotion in which prayers are said for the same intention on nine days in a row
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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