Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The central part of a church, extending from the narthex to the chancel and flanked by aisles.
  • n. The hub of a wheel.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The middle or body of a church, extending from the transepts to the principal entrances.
  • n. A hub of a wheel.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The block in the center of a wheel, from which the spokes radiate, and through which the axle passes; -- called also hub or hob.
  • n. The navel.
  • n. The middle or body of a church, extending from the transepts to the principal entrances, or, if there are no transepts, from the choir to the principal entrance, but not including the aisles.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To form as a nave; cause to resemble a nave in function or in effect.
  • A Middle English contraction of ne have, have not.
  • n. The central part of a wheel, in which the spokes are inserted; the hub. See cuts under felly and hub.
  • n. The navel.
  • n. The main body, or middle part, lengthwise, of a church, extending typically from the chief entrance to the choir or chancel.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the central area of a church

Etymologies

Medieval Latin nāvis, from Latin, ship (from its shape).
Middle English, from Old English nafu.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Ultimately from Latin nāvis, via a Romance source. (Wiktionary)
From Old English nafu, from Proto-Germanic *nabō (compare Dutch naaf, German Nabe), from Proto-Indo-European *h₃nobh (“navel”) (compare Latin umbō ("shield boss"), Latvian naba, Sanskrit nābha). (Wiktionary)

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