|—n , pl -lae, -las|
|1.||astronomy Compare planetary nebula a diffuse cloud of particles and gases (mainly hydrogen) that is visible either as a hazy patch of light (either an emission or a reflection nebula) or an irregular dark region against a brighter background (dark nebula)|
|a. opacity of the cornea|
|b. cloudiness of the urine|
|3.||any substance for use in an atomizer spray|
|[C17: from Latin: mist, cloud; related to Greek nephétē cloud, Old High German nebul cloud, Old Norse njól night]|
nebula neb·u·la (něb'yə-lə)
n. pl. neb·u·las or neb·u·lae (-lē')
A faint, foglike opacity of the cornea.
A class of oily preparations for use in a nebulizer.
|nebula (něb'yə-lə) Pronunciation Key
Plural nebulae (něb'yə-lē') or nebulas
A visible, thinly spread cloud of interstellar gas and dust. Some nebulae are the remnants of a supernova explosion, others are gravity-induced condensations of the gases in the interstellar medium which in certain cases may become a site for the formation of new stars. The term was formerly used of any hazy, seemingly cloudlike object, including what are now recognized as other galaxies beyond the Milky Way; it is restricted now to actual clouds of gas and dust within our own galaxy. ◇ Nebulae are generally classified as bright or dark. Among the bright nebulae are cold clouds that reflect light from nearby stars (reflection nebulae) and hot, ionized clouds that glow with their own light (emission nebulae). Dark nebulae—cold clouds that absorb the passing light from background stars—are called absorption nebulae. See more at star.