nun

1
[nuhn]
See more synonyms for nun on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. a woman member of a religious order, especially one bound by vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience.
  2. any of various birds, especially a domestic variety of pigeon.

Origin of nun

1
before 900; Middle English, Old English nunne < Medieval Latin nonna, feminine of nonnus monk
Related formsnun·like, adjective

nun

2
[noon, noo n]
noun
  1. the 14th letter of the Hebrew alphabet.
  2. the consonant sound represented by this letter.

Origin of nun

2
First recorded in 1875–80, nun is from the Hebrew word nūn literally, fish

nūn

[noo n]
noun
  1. the 25th letter of the Arabic alphabet.

Origin of nūn

From Arabic; see origin at nun2, nu1

Nun

[noon]
noun Egyptian Religion.
  1. oldest of the ancient Egyptian gods, personifying the primordial ocean from which the world was formed; father of Ra, the sun god.
Also Nu [noo] /nu/.

Nun River

[noon]
noun
  1. a major channel of the Niger River, in W Africa.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


Examples from the Web for nun

Contemporary Examples of nun

Historical Examples of nun

  • I could see myself like the novice who had just been admitted as a nun.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

  • The idea of becoming a nun always haunted me, but I was no longer mystic.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

  • My father said something to the nun who came forward, and she took us into the parlour.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

  • Her bonnet was trimmed with ruches, so close together that it looked like a nun's head-gear.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

  • The dowry left to me by my father was ample enough for the dowry of a nun.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt


British Dictionary definitions for nun

nun

1
noun
  1. a female member of a religious order
  2. (sometimes capital) a variety of domestic fancy pigeon usually having a black-and-white plumage with a ridged peak or cowl of short white feathers
Derived Formsnunlike, adjective

Word Origin for nun

Old English nunne, from Church Latin nonna, from Late Latin: form of address used for an elderly woman

nun

2
noun
  1. the 14th letter in the Hebrew alphabet (נ or, at the end of a word, ן), transliterated as n
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

Word Origin and History for nun
n.

Old English nunne "nun, vestal, pagan priestess, woman devoted to religious life under vows," from Late Latin nonna "nun, tutor," originally (along with masc. nonnus) a term of address to elderly persons, perhaps from children's speech, reminiscent of nana (cf. Sanskrit nona, Persian nana "mother," Greek nanna "aunt," Serbo-Croatian nena "mother," Italian nonna, Welsh nain "grandmother;" see nanny).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

nun in Culture

nun

A female member of a religious order, living in a convent, whose work is confined to the convent. The term is also applied broadly to other female members of religious orders (“sisters”) who often live outside their convents and work as teachers, nurses, social workers, or administrators.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.