Definition of nova in English:



  • A star showing a sudden large increase in brightness and then slowly returning to its original state over a few months.

    See also supernova
    • ‘The camera pans across a galaxy of stars and planets, novae, and nebulae twinkling in the blackness.’
    • ‘For the same reason, the Star is unlikely to have been a nova, even though Chinese astrologers recorded the appearance of bright novae or ‘guest stars’ in March, 5 BC and April, 4 BC.’
    • ‘As matter builds in the space between the stars, the increase in energy can cause matter to be ejected from the system as a nova or supernova.’
    • ‘Environments are filled with planets, black holes, novas, asteroids and wormholes among other objects, and each is rendered with stunning detail.’
    • ‘For example, amateurs have always been to the fore in discovering comets and novae, hunting for supernovae, and monitoring events happening on the planets.’


Late 19th century: from Latin, feminine of novus new (because such stars were thought to be newly formed).