dime novel

noun

Definition of 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 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, "Because Internet makes a linguist’s case for l33t speak, other online-text fads," 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, "2020 Vision," 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, "Review: ‘The Rider’ is a Western like no other," 18 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dime novel.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of dime novel

1864, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about dime novel

Time Traveler for dime novel

Time Traveler

The first known use of dime novel was in 1864

See more words from the same year

Statistics for dime novel

Cite this Entry

“Dime novel.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dime%20novel. Accessed 24 Feb. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on dime novel

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about dime novel

Comments on dime novel

What made you want to look up dime novel? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!