Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A diffuse cloud of interstellar dust or gas or both, visible as luminous patches or areas of darkness depending on the way the mass absorbs or reflects incident light or emits its own light.
  • noun A galaxy. No longer in technical use.
  • noun A cloudy spot on the cornea.
  • noun A liquid preparation for use in a nebulizer.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A luminous patch in the heavens, far beyond the limits of the solar system.
  • noun In pathology, a cloud-like spot on the cornea.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Astron.) A faint, cloudlike, self-luminous mass of matter situated beyond the solar system among the stars. The term was originally applied to any diffuse luminous region. Now, technically, it is applied to interstellar clouds of dust and gases (diffuse nebula). However distant galaxies and very distant star clusters often appear like them in the telescope, such as the spiral nebula in Andromeda, known now to be a distant galaxy.
  • noun obsolete, obsolete A white spot or a slight opacity of the cornea.
  • noun obsolete A cloudy appearance in the urine.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun astronomy A cloud in outer space consisting of gas or dust (e.g. a cloud formed after a star explodes).
  • noun archaic, medicine A white spot or slight opacity of the cornea.
  • noun obsolete, medicine A cloudy appearance in the urine

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

  • noun cloudiness of the urine
  • noun (pathology) a faint cloudy spot on the cornea
  • noun a medicinal liquid preparation intended for use in an atomizer
  • noun an immense cloud of gas (mainly hydrogen) and dust in interstellar space

Etymologies

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

[Middle English nebule, cloud, mist, from Latin nebula; see nebh- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin nebula ("little cloud", "mist"). Akin to Greek νεφέλη, "cloud", German Nebel, "mist", "nebula", Old Norse nifl.

Examples

Comments

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  • Nebulae contain stardust. (See Free Associations)

    June 26, 2008

  • Apart from the nebulae WeirdNet has in mind, of course.

    October 4, 2008

  • A strain of medical marijuana

    January 15, 2010