noun \nō-ˈve-lə\

: a short novel : a story that is longer than a short story but shorter than a novel

plural novellas or no·vel·le \-ˈve-lē\

Full Definition of NOVELLA

plural novelle :  a story with a compact and pointed plot
plural usually novellas :  a work of fiction intermediate in length and complexity between a short story and a novel

Examples of NOVELLA

  1. <pressed for time, many English teachers have their students read the one novella among the novelist's works>

Origin of NOVELLA

Italian, from feminine of novello new, from Latin novellus
First Known Use: 1898

Other Literature Terms

apophasis, bathos, bildungsroman, bowdlerize, caesura, coda, doggerel, euphemism, poesy, prosody


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Story with a compact and pointed plot, often realistic and satiric in tone. Originating in Italy during the Middle Ages, it was often based on local events; individual tales often were gathered into collections. The novella developed into a psychologically subtle and structured short tale, with writers frequently using a frame story to unify tales around a theme, as in Giovanni Boccaccio's Decameron. The term is also used to describe a work of fiction intermediate in length—and sometimes complexity—between a short story and a novel. Examples of novellas include Fyodor Dostoyevsky's Notes from the Underground (1864), Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness (1902), Thomas Mann's Death in Venice (1912), and Henry James's The Aspern Papers (1888).


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