Share this entry
nova Line breaks: nova
Pronunciation: /ˈnəʊvə/

Definition of nova in English:

noun (plural novae ˈnəʊviː or novas)

A star showing a sudden large increase in brightness and then slowly returning to its original state over a few months. See also supernova.
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).

Words that rhyme with nova

Canova, Casanova, clover, Dover, drover, Grsbover, Jehovah, left-over, Markova, Moldova, moreover, Navrátilová, ova, over, Pavlova, rover, trover, up-and-over
Definition of nova in:
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

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

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources