novena

noun

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

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Under normal circumstances, her family and friends would have gathered to pray a novena for nine days. Sarah Freishtat, chicagotribune.com, 30 Dec. 2020 But the novena for Ugalde, who Iniguez has described as the center of the family, was over Zoom. Sarah Freishtat, chicagotribune.com, 30 Dec. 2020 Each day of the novena, the procession has a different route, each a symbolic one. Laura Rodríguez Presa, chicagotribune.com, 8 Dec. 2020 The novena will be livestreamed on Facebook at St. Jude Shrine, New Orleans. Staff Report, NOLA.com, 13 Jan. 2021 Every year, Eusebia Flores prays the novena for Our Lady of Guadalupe in the days leading up to the feast in her honor on Dec. 12, a prodigious celebration for Catholics in Mexico and the United States. Laura Rodríguez Presa, chicagotribune.com, 8 Dec. 2020 In rural towns in Mexico, the novena for Our Lady of Guadalupe leading up to the feast is also celebrated with processions, Araiza said. Laura Rodríguez Presa, chicagotribune.com, 8 Dec. 2020 The tradition is a holdover from when Spanish missionaries instituted a novena, or nine consecutive prayer services, to emphasize the importance of the holiday. Lizz Schumer, Good Housekeeping, 4 Dec. 2020 They are divided across national borders as family members die, praying novenas on Google Hangouts. ProPublica, 3 May 2020 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'novena.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

Etymology

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.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/novena. Accessed 30 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

novena

noun

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