[ noo n ]
/ nʊn /


the 25th letter of the Arabic alphabet.

Nearby words

  1. núñez cabeza de vaca, álvar,
  2. nü-kua,
  3. nürnberg,
  4. nüsslein-volhard,
  5. ,
  6. o,
  7. o & m,
  8. o 2,
  9. o agglutinin,
  10. o and o

Origin of nūn

From Arabic; see origin at nun2, nu1

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for nūn


/ (nʌn) /


a female member of a religious order
(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


/ (nʊn) /


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 nūn



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

Culture definitions for nūn


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.