dime novel


: a usually paperback melodramatic novel
especially : one popular in the U.S. from about the mid-19th century to the early 20th often featuring a Western theme

Examples of dime novel in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The brothel girls sent Dorothy on errands and paid her with their dime novels. cleveland, 23 Feb. 2020 Though many prominent opinion-havers rage about the imminent death of the English language at the hands of emoji-wielding teenagers, the Internet has done no more harm to English than television, radio, or dime novels. Mara Katz, Ars Technica, 2 Nov. 2019 But the frontier was closed, and its memory was already being turned into myth in dime novels, westerns, and Wild West shows. David Treuer, Harper's magazine, 10 Jan. 2019 Westerns have been selling variations on this sort of story since the silent days (and in dime novels before that). Michael Phillips, Detroit Free Press, 18 May 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'dime novel.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1864, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of dime novel was in 1864

Dictionary Entries Near dime novel

Cite this Entry

“Dime novel.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dime%20novel. Accessed 11 Dec. 2023.

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