Definition of bildungsroman
: a novel about the moral and psychological growth of the main character
Did You Know?
Bildungsroman is the combination of two German words: Bildung, meaning "education," and Roman, meaning "novel." Fittingly, a "bildungsroman" is a novel that deals with the formative years of the main character - in particular, his or her psychological development and moral education. The bildungsroman usually ends on a positive note with the hero's foolish mistakes and painful disappointments over and a life of usefulness ahead. Goethe's late 18th-century work Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre (Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship) is often cited as the classic example of this type of novel. Though the term is primarily applied to novels, in recent years, some English speakers have begun to apply the term to films that deal with a youthful character's coming-of-age.
Origin of bildungsroman
German, from Bildung education + Roman novel
First Known Use: 1910
Rhymes with bildungsroman
abutilon, Agamemnon, anticodon, antiproton, archenteron, arrière-ban, asyndeton, automaton, Azerbaijan, Bellerophon, carrying-on, diazinon, dodecagon, emoticon, encephalon, get a move on, himation, interferon, kakiemon, keep an eye on, Laocoön, mesenteron, Michoacán, millimicron, oxymoron, phenomenon, protozoon, pteranodon, put the arm on, put the make on, rear echelon, Rostov-on-Don, Saskatchewan, septentrion, set one's heart on, set one's sights on, sine qua non, steal a march on, take it out on, Taklimakan, turn one's back on, Vientiane, wipe one's boots on, zero coupon, zooplankton
Learn More about bildungsroman
Nglish: Translation of "bildungsroman" for Spanish speakers Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about "bildungsroman"
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