novel

adjective
nov·​el | \ ˈnä-vəl \

Definition of novel

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : new and not resembling something formerly known or used New technologies are posing novel problems.
2 : original or striking especially in conception or style a novel scheme to collect money

novel

noun

Definition of novel (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an invented prose narrative that is usually long and complex and deals especially with human experience through a usually connected sequence of events
2 : the literary genre consisting of novels

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Other Words from novel

Noun

novelistic \ ˌnä-​və-​ˈli-​stik \ adjective
novelistically \ ˌnä-​və-​ˈli-​sti-​k(ə-​)lē \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for novel

Adjective

new, novel, original, fresh mean having recently come into existence or use. new may apply to what is freshly made and unused new brick or has not been known before new designs or not experienced before. starts the new job novel applies to what is not only new but strange or unprecedented. a novel approach to the problem original applies to what is the first of its kind to exist. a man without one original idea fresh applies to what has not lost its qualities of newness such as liveliness, energy, brightness. a fresh start

Did You Know?

If someone tells you that you've come up with a novel idea or a novel interpretation of something, it's probably a compliment: not everyone is capable of original thinking. But not everything new is terribly worthwhile; a novelty, for example, is often a cute (or maybe just silly) little object that you might put on a display shelf in your house. It may seem surprising that the familiar noun novel is related as well. In the 14th century, Italian writers began writing collections of short tales, each of which they called a novella because it represented a new literary form; from this word, three centuries later, the English coined the noun novel.

Examples of novel in a Sentence

Adjective

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

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

But reinventing the shifter is really about impressing your friends with how novel and futuristic your car is. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "The Touchscreen Infotainment Systems in New Cars Are a Distracting Mess," 7 Feb. 2019 The Spurs also took the novel approach of putting point guard Dejounte Murray on Draymond Green, limiting the Warriors forrward’s upside as a playmaker. Jeff Mcdonald, San Antonio Express-News, "How can the Spurs keep their season alive in Game 5? Here are three ways," 23 Apr. 2018 Enormous detectors and worldwide computer networks comb through the debris of these collisions to try to find something novel and interesting. Peter Kujawinski, New York Times, "Colliders, Sundials and Wonder: When Science Is Your Destination," 28 May 2018 Enlisting volunteers to take snowflake photos is novel and potentially useful, said Noah Molotch, director of The Center for Water, Earth Science, and Technology at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Michael Hill, The Christian Science Monitor, "Studying snowflakes could provide clues to atmospheric conditions," 16 Mar. 2018 Using a screen that spins freely between two horizontal attachment points instead of a traditional hinge, it can be positioned in a handful of novel ways. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "Bring on the Wacky Convertible Gaming Laptops," 7 Jan. 2019 And now, a whole new crop of chefs are calling on the powers of the chickpea in novel ways. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, "Are Chickpeas the New Chic Peas?," 7 Dec. 2018 That emphasis on parents and not just children echoes a novel benefit Starbucks provides to its employees in China. Benjamin Romano, The Seattle Times, "Starbucks adds subsidized backup child and senior care to U.S. benefits package," 9 Oct. 2018 In the 1930s, a small group of New York City artist—including Mexican muralist David A. Siqueiros and Jackson Pollock—began experimenting with novel painting techniques and materials. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Study: modern masters like Jackson Pollock were “intuitive physicists”," 26 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Based on the Joseph Heller novel of the same name, Catch-22 stars Christopher Abbott as Capt. Maggie Maloney, Town & Country, "The First Trailer for George Clooney's New Series Catch-22 Is Finally Here," 13 Feb. 2019 Release date: May 10 The Sun is Also a Star Based on the YA novel of the same name, in her final day in NYC, Natasha tries to find a way to stay in the United States before she and her family are deported. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "8 Teen Movies Coming Out in 2019 That You're Bound To Become Obsessed With," 11 Jan. 2019 According to Deadline, the classic 2004 tearjerker (based on the best-selling 1996 Nicholas Sparks novel of the same name) is officially Broadway-bound. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Nicholas Sparks's "The Notebook" Is Headed to Broadway," 6 Jan. 2019 The series, based on Neil Gaiman’s fantasy novel of the same name, debuted in April 2017. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "American Gods season 2 finally has a release date," 5 Dec. 2018 Actress Regina Hall, 47, dominates onscreen in her new movie, The Hate U Give in theaters nationwide on October 19, adapted from the best-selling young adult novel of the same name. Lindsey Benoit, Good Housekeeping, "Regina Hall Shows off Her Fall Fashion Favorites in Easy-to-Wear Looks," 9 Oct. 2018 The movie is expected to draw enthusiastic crowds across Asia after its box-office bonanza in the U.S. Directed by John M. Chu, the film was adapted from Singaporean author Kevin Kwan's best-selling novel of the same name. Fox News, "'Crazy Rich Asians' receives mixed emotion reviews in Asia," 22 Aug. 2018 After running through the story from the novel, season two of the series took off into uncharted waters, where viewers had no source material to refer to for spoilers. Tony Bravo, SFChronicle.com, "Swearing off the dystopia of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ (spoilers included)," 12 July 2018 Rupert Holmes’ 1985 Broadway hit attempts to seek closure for Charles Dickens’ final, unfinished mystery novel of the same title. Christopher Arnott, courant.com, "CT Rep Gets Historical For 2018-19; Downtown Cabaret Announces Season," 11 July 2018

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

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First Known Use of novel

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1639, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for novel

Adjective

Middle English, borrowed from Anglo-French & continental Old French, "new" — more at nouveau

Noun

earlier nouell, nouelle "short prose narrative," borrowed from Italian novella — more at novella

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Statistics for novel

Last Updated

19 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for novel

The first known use of novel was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for novel

novel

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of novel

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: new and different from what has been known before

novel

noun

English Language Learners Definition of novel (Entry 2 of 2)

: a long written story usually about imaginary characters and events

novel

adjective
nov·​el | \ ˈnä-vəl \

Kids Definition of novel

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: new and different from what is already known a novel idea

novel

noun

Kids Definition of novel (Entry 2 of 2)

: a long story usually about imaginary characters and events

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More from Merriam-Webster on novel

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for novel

Spanish Central: Translation of novel

Nglish: Translation of novel for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of novel for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about novel

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