adjective \ˈnä-vəl\

: new and different from what has been known before

Full Definition of NOVEL

:  new and not resembling something formerly known or used
:  original or striking especially in conception or style <a novel scheme to collect money>

Examples of NOVEL

  1. She has suggested a novel approach to the problem.
  2. Handheld computers are novel devices.

Origin of NOVEL

Middle English, from Anglo-French, new, from Latin novellus, from diminutive of novus new — more at new
First Known Use: 15th century



: a long written story usually about imaginary characters and events

Full Definition of NOVEL

:  an invented prose narrative that is usually long and complex and deals especially with human experience through a usually connected sequence of events
:  the literary genre consisting of novels
nov·el·is·tic \ˌnä-və-ˈlis-tik\ adjective
nov·el·is·ti·cal·ly \-ti-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Origin of NOVEL

Italian novella
First Known Use: 1639

Other Literature Terms

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


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Fictional prose narrative of considerable length and some complexity that deals imaginatively with human experience through a connected sequence of events involving a group of persons in a specific setting. The genre encompasses a wide range of types and styles, including picaresque, epistolary, gothic, romantic, realist, and historical novels. Though forerunners of the novel appeared in a number of places, including Classical Rome and 11th-century Japan, the European novel is usually said to have begun with Miguel de Cervantes's Don Quixote. The novel was established as a literary form in England in the 18th century through the work of Daniel Defoe, Samuel Richardson, and Henry Fielding. The typical elements of a conventional novel are plot, character, setting, narrative method and point of view, scope, and myth or symbolism. These elements have been subject to experimentation since the earliest appearance of the novel. Compare antinovel. See also novella; short story.


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