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What Does the Name Nova Mean?

By Emma Davies


Updated on

Nova is a name of Latin origin that means ‘new’ or ‘young’. Often associated with concepts of novelty and a sense of renewal, the name has become more popular over the recent decades, reflecting a contemporary appeal.

Nova meaning

In astrological terms, the word ‘nova’ means an exploding star. The luminosity of a star exploding can increase by over a thousand times its regular brightness, before gradually fading over time. The meaning fits perfectly for a new baby who shines as brightly as the biggest star in the sky.

Over the years, the name has been most commonly used for females. However, the name can be unisex and is growing in popularity for baby boys too.

  • Name Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Means new
  • Pronunciation: No – Va
  • Gender: Gender-neutral name but more commonly used as a girl’s name.

How Popular is the Name Nova?

Traditionally, Nova has not been a popular name. In 1900, the name was ranked #670 in female baby names. The name had its lowest popularity ranking in 1937 at position #962, but a resurgence of the name began in the late 20th century.

The popularity of the name peaked in 2021 when it was ranked by the Social Security Administration as the 32nd most popular baby girl name in the US.

In 2021, 5516 baby girls were born and named Nova. In comparison, only 274 boys were given the name, and it was ranked #853 in the popularity chart for boys’ names.

Name Variations

Name Meaning Origin
Neva Snow Mexican
Noa Movement/motion Hebrew
Tova God-pleasing/beautiful Thord Swedish
Nora Shining light/honor Latin
Eva Animal/life Hebrew
Nina Little girl Spanish
Nola White shoulder Irish

Other Latin Girl’s Names

Name Meaning
Aelia Sun
Annia Priceless one
Gaia The Earth
Lucilla Light
Luna Goddess of the moon
Julia Youthful
Valentina Healthy and strong

Alternative Girl Names Starting with ‘N’

Name Meaning Origin
Naomi Pleasantness Hebrew
Noelle Christmas French
Nicole Victory of people French/Greek
Nanna Daring and brave Scandinavian
Narcissa Flower Greek
Nephelle Greek Goddess Greek
Nadia Hope Russian

Famous People Named Nova

  • Nova Pilbeam – British actress
  • Nova Gunner – American model
  • Nova Rockafeller – Canadian Rapper
  • Nova Ren Suma – American author