1. [syn: spiral galaxy, spiral nebula]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Nebula \Neb"u*la\ (n[e^]b"[-u]*l[.a]), n.; pl. Nebulae
(n[e^]b"[-u]*l[=e]). [L., mist, cloud; akin to Gr. nefe`lh,
ne`fos, cloud, mist, G. nebel mist, OHG. nebul, D. nevel,
Skr. nabhas cloud, mist. Cf. Nebule.]
1. (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.
[1913 Webster +PJC]
(a) A white spot or a slight opacity of the cornea.
(b) A cloudy appearance in the urine. [Obs.]
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: a galaxy having a spiral structure; arms containing younger
stars spiral out from old stars at the center [syn: spiral
galaxy, spiral nebula]