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90s Slang You Should Know


[nee-nyah] /ˈni nyɑ/
noun, plural niñas
[nee-nyahs] /ˈni nyɑs/ (Show IPA).
girl; child.


[neen-yuh, nee-nuh; Spanish nee-nyah] /ˈnin yə, ˈni nə; Spanish ˈni nyɑ/
one of the three ships under the command of Columbus when he made his first voyage of discovery to America in 1492.

La Niña

[lah nee-nyah] /lɑ ˈni nyɑ/
a cool ocean current that develops off the coast of Ecuador and Peru, sometimes following an El Niño but causing nearly the opposite extreme weather conditions.
Origin of La Niña
1985-90; < Spanish: literally, the female child; patterned after El Niño Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for niña
Historical Examples
  • The other two, the Pinta and niña, had only decks fore and aft.

    From Pole to Pole Sven Anders Hedin
  • But the niña could not hold them all, and how were they to get back to Spain?

    From Pole to Pole Sven Anders Hedin
  • He of the niña made the Canaries 440 leagues distant, the Pinta 420.

  • This much: the niña was with a caravan that had come from one of your western states.

    The Wild Huntress Mayne Reid
  • The third and smallest caravel, called the niña, the Spanish word for baby, was built much like the Pinta.

    Introductory American History Henry Eldridge Bourne
  • Do that, niña, and we might have a better chance of a little conversation at this hour.

    The Bandolero Mayne Reid
  • They saw many tunny-fish, and the crew of the niña killed one.

  • Or, if so, then it must be that he has gone to join the señora and the niña, who are still at El Quiss.

    The Mystery of The Barranca Herman Whitaker
  • The two little caravels, niña and Pinta, were decked only at stern and prow.

    American Men of Action Burton E. Stevenson
  • The cacique came on board the niña to visit Columbus, and a little while after, the Admiral went to his village in return.

British Dictionary definitions for niña


/ˈniːnə; Spanish ˈniɲa/
the Niña, one of the three ships commanded by Columbus in 1492

La Niña

/læ ˈniːnjə/
(meteorol) a cooling of the eastern tropical Pacific, occurring in certain years
Word Origin
C20: from Spanish: The Little Girl, to distinguish it from El Niño
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for niña


fem. proper name; in a Russian context it is a shortening of Annina, diminutive of Greek Anna. In a Spanish context, Niña "child, infant," a nursery word.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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niña in Science
La Niña
  (lä nēn'yä)   
A cooling of the surface water of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean, occurring somewhat less frequently than El Niño events but causing similar, generally opposite disruptions to global weather patterns. La Niña conditions occur when the Pacific trade winds blow more strongly than usual, pushing the sun-warmed surface water farther west and increasing the upwelling of cold water in the eastern regions. Together with the atmospheric effects of the related southern oscillation, the cooler water brings drought to western South America and heavy rains to eastern Australia and Indonesia. Compare El Niño.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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