1

novel

adjective nov·el \ ˈnä-vəl \
Updated on: 18 Nov 2017

Definition of novel

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

Examples of novel in a Sentence

  1. She has suggested a novel approach to the problem.

  2. Handheld computers are novel devices.

Recent Examples of novel from the Web

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.

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.

Origin and Etymology of novel

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

Synonym Discussion of novel

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

2

novel

noun

Definition of novel

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

novelistic

play \ˌnä-və-ˈli-stik\ adjective

novelistically

play \ˌnä-və-ˈli-sti-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Recent Examples of novel from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of novel

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


NOVEL Defined for English Language Learners

novel

adjective

Definition of novel for English Language Learners

  • : new and different from what has been known before


novel

noun

Definition of novel for English Language Learners

  • : a long written story usually about imaginary characters and events


NOVEL Defined for Kids

1

novel

adjective nov·el \ ˈnä-vəl \

Definition of novel for Students

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

2

novel

noun

Definition of novel for Students

:a long story usually about imaginary characters and events


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