noun (plural novae /-viː/ or novas)Astronomy
A star showing a sudden large increase in brightness and then slowly returning to its original state over a few months. See also supernova.
More example sentences
- For example, amateurs have always been to the fore in discovering comets and novae, hunting for supernovae, and monitoring events happening on the planets.
- The camera pans across a galaxy of stars and planets, novae, and nebulae twinkling in the blackness.
- For the same reason, the Star is unlikely to have been a nova, even though Chinese astrologers recorded the appearance of bright novae or ‘guest stars’ in March, 5 BC and April, 4 BC.
late 19th century: from Latin, feminine of novus 'new' (because such stars were thought to be newly formed).