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[noh-vuh] /ˈnoʊ və/
noun, plural novas, novae
[noh-vee] /ˈnoʊ vi/ (Show IPA).
a star that suddenly becomes thousands of times brighter and then gradually fades to its original intensity.
Compare supernova.
Origin of nova
1680-90; < New Latin: noun use of feminine of Latin novus new
Related forms
novalike, adjective


[noh-vuh] /ˈnoʊ və/
Also called Nova Salmon. a Pacific salmon cured in the style of Nova Scotia salmon.
(lowercase) (loosely) any smoked salmon. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for nova
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Some day—and then the thought burst on him like a nova exploding in his brain.

    Runaway William Morrison
  • "Why, a little bird that came on board from nova Scotia, they said," replied Hilbert.

    Rollo on the Atlantic Jacob Abbott
  • To call a Gloucester man a nova Scotian is not well received.

    "Captains Courageous" Rudyard Kipling
  • But while he was thus the child of nova Scotia, he was her creator as well.

    The Tribune of Nova Scotia

    W. L. (William Lawson) Grant
  • Meanwhile, the Irish in nova Scotia had been roused against him.

    The Tribune of Nova Scotia

    W. L. (William Lawson) Grant
British Dictionary definitions for nova


noun (pl) -vae (-viː), -vas
a variable star that undergoes a cataclysmic eruption, observed as a sudden large increase in brightness with a subsequent decline over months or years; it is a close binary system with one component a white dwarf Compare supernova
Word Origin
C19: New Latin nova (stella) new (star), from Latin novus new
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 nova

1877, from Latin nova, fem. singular adjective of novus "new" (see new), used with stella "star" (a feminine noun in Latin) to describe a new star not previously known. Classical plural is novae.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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nova in Science
Plural novae (nō'vē) or novas
A white dwarf star that suddenly and temporarily becomes extremely bright as a result of the explosion at its surface of material accreted from an expanding companion star. The material, mostly hydrogen and helium, is attracted by the white dwarf's gravity and accumulates under growing pressure and heat until nuclear fusion is ignited. Unlike a supernova, a nova is not blown apart by the explosion and gradually returns to its original brightness over a period of weeks to years. Because of their sudden appearance where no star had been previously visible, novae were long thought to be new stars. Since 1925, novae have been classified as variable stars. Compare supernova.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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nova in Culture
nova [(noh-vuh)]

In astronomy, the appearance of a new star in the sky (nova is Latin for “new”). Novae are usually associated with the last stages in the life of a star. (See supernova.)

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for nova



Nova Scotia smoked salmon; lox (1970s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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