- girl; child.
[neen-yuh, nee-nuh; Spanish nee-nyah]
- one of the three ships under the command of Columbus when he made his first voyage of discovery to America in 1492.
- 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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- the Niña one of the three ships commanded by Columbus in 1492
- meteorol a cooling of the eastern tropical Pacific, occurring in certain years
C20: from Spanish: The Little Girl, to distinguish it from El Niño
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
- 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 © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.