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 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 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.

First Known Use of dime novel

1864, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near dime novel

dimenhydrinate

dime novel

dimension

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for dime novel

Cite this Entry

“Dime novel.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dime%20novel. Accessed 25 Jun. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on dime novel

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about dime novel

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Which Word Does Not Belong?

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

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!