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[noh-vee-nuh, nuh-] /noʊˈvi nə, nə-/
noun, plural novenae
[noh-vee-nee, nuh-] /noʊˈvi ni, nə-/ (Show IPA),
novenas. Roman Catholic Church.
a devotion consisting of nine separate days of prayers or services.
Origin of novena
1850-55; < Medieval Latin novēna, noun use of feminine singular of Latin novēnus nine each Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for novena
Historical Examples
  • Sylvia thanked her for the novena just as she would have thanked her for the woolen vest.

    Sylvia & Michael Compton Mackenzie
  • And after the retreat there is to be a novena of the Blessed Virgin.

    Painted Veils James Huneker
  • All the family joined her in making the novena, and from the fifth day she was entirely cured.

    The Miraculous Medal Jean Marie Aladel
  • I then said to the saint, 'I only ask it to go to the novena and benediction.'

  • A friend, one day, proposed to her that she should wear the medal with confidence, and make a novena to Mary.

    The Miraculous Medal Jean Marie Aladel
  • It is most important that we receive holy communion when making a novena.

  • Give thanks to God for me for all the graces He granted me during this novena.

  • She recovered her youthful vigor in 1804, at the end of a novena to the Sacred Heart, which had been suggested by her confessor.

    The Jesuits, 1534-1921 Thomas J. Campbell
  • This gift was followed by a request that a novena be made to the saint, Father Vianney promising to pray also.

  • Renounce thy treason—and not alone my blessing, but thou shalt have a 'novena' to celebrate thy fidelity.

British Dictionary definitions for novena


noun (pl) -nas, -nae (-niː)
(RC Church) a devotion consisting of prayers or services on nine consecutive days
Word Origin
C19: from Medieval Latin, from Latin novem nine
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
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Word Origin and History for novena

1745, from Medieval Latin novena, fem. of Latin novenus "ninefold," from novem "nine" (see nine). Devotions consisting of special prayers or services on nine successive days.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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