Share this entry

Share this page

nebula

Line breaks: neb¦ula
Pronunciation: /ˈnɛbjʊlə
 
/

Definition of nebula in English:

noun (plural nebulae /-liː/ or nebulas)

1 Astronomy A cloud of gas and dust in outer space, visible in the night sky either as an indistinct bright patch or as a dark silhouette against other luminous matter.
Example sentences
  • Evolutionists believe that the solar system condensed out of a cloud of gas and dust called a nebula, hence the nebular hypothesis.
  • We have missions that include active nebulas, swirling dust clouds, moving asteroids and asteroid fields.
  • A planetary nebula forms when Sun-like stars gently eject their outer gaseous layers to form bright nebulae with amazing twisted shapes.
1.1 dated A galaxy.
Example sentences
  • Then Edward Hubble discovered that the nebulae were other galaxies like ours only much further away than was thought possible.
  • In further studies, he showed that these nebulas are actually other galaxies, and he went on to classify them.
  • Hubble realized that these spiral nebulae were so far away they were actually galaxies - separate cities of stars - far beyond our own Milky Way.
2 Medicine A clouded spot on the cornea causing defective vision.
Example sentences
  • The bruise over his eye had settled in to a purple nearly matching the nebula itself, but the swelling had reduced dramatically.
  • It treats conjunctivitis, pterygium, nebula and pain in the eyes.

Origin

mid 17th century (as a medical term): from Latin, literally 'mist'.

Words that rhyme with nebula

tarantulascheduler

Definition of nebula in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day tenebrous
Pronunciation: ˈtɛnɪbrəs
adjective
dark; shadowy or obscure