no·​va·​tion nō-ˈvā-shən How to pronounce novation (audio)
: the substitution of a new legal obligation for an old one

Examples of novation in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The contract novation will be subject to the consent of FSA. Adam S. Minsky, Forbes, 28 Sep. 2021 That new student loan servicer — which collects student loan payments and manages customer service for student loans — may be a company called Maximus, with whom Navient signed a novation agreement to transfer servicing. Zack Friedman, Forbes, 29 Sep. 2021 Under the rules in six large EU member states analysed by the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA), a global trade body, novations and compressions would be considered regulated activities. The Economist, 12 Oct. 2017

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

Word History


borrowed from Latin novātiōn-, novātiō, from novāre "to make new, renew, replace an existing legal obligation with a new one" (derivative of novus "new") + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of verbal action — more at new entry 1

First Known Use

1682, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of novation was in 1682

Dictionary Entries Near novation

Cite this Entry

“Novation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 May. 2024.

Legal Definition


no·​va·​tion nō-ˈvā-shən How to pronounce novation (audio)
: the substitution by mutual agreement of one obligation for another with or without a change of parties and with the intent to extinguish the old obligation
no evidence that the contract was assigned, or that there was a novationBoccardi v. Horn Constr. Corp., 612 N.Y.S.2d 180 (1994)
compare accord sense 3, substituted contract at contract

Late Latin novatio renewal, legal novation, from Latin novare to make new, from novus new

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