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

Risk adjustment isn’t novel or unique to the Affordable Care Act. Michael Hiltzik, latimes.com, "The Trump administration finds another way to throw sand in Obamacare's gears, at patients' expense," 9 July 2018 My independence was still novel, and every day felt like an opportunity to indulge in my own company, to soak in it like a bubble bath. Lena Dunham, Vogue, "Lena Dunham Explores Alone Time After a Break-Up," 11 May 2018 On the other hand, the innocence with which Vegas demolished the Kings is so novel that only good things can come from a run exactly zero experts saw coming six months ago. Eric Single, SI.com, "Stanley Cup Playoffs Roundup: Vegas Sweeps Kings, Moves on to Round 2," 18 Apr. 2018 Military resources being used for border security would not be entirely novel. Tal Kopan, CNN, "Trump on immigration: Fact check," 3 Apr. 2018 This idea is not novel, but has been put on a firmer footing than before. The Economist, "Saturn’s rings and several of its moons may be recent creations," 22 Mar. 2018 The petro may be novel—a digital token centrally controlled by a government is ideologically at odds with the original idea for cryptocurrencies. Cady Voge, WIRED, "Where Could Bitcoin Succeed as a Currency? In a Failed State," 22 Mar. 2018 The idea of a middle ground between the puny shirt and the heavy jacket is not exactly novel. Jacob Gallagher, WSJ, "When It’s Super-Hot, This is Your Workwear Solution," 21 June 2018 The mystery-thriller aspects of this novel drive it forward, but readers will also appreciate the veracity of its Alaska setting and the substance of dog racing life. Nancy Lord, Anchorage Daily News, "Anchorage novelist tells a gothic tale set among dog mushers in Interior Alaska," 16 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

And while the popular Disney version is beloved by children, the original 1883 novel, The Adventures of Pinocchio, by Italian writer Carlo Collodi, is darker than some people may realize. Dan Barna, Teen Vogue, "New "Pinocchio" Animated Movie Will Be Directed by Guillermo del Toro," 22 Oct. 2018 But others are more novel in these modeling contexts. David Roberts, Vox, "What genuine, no-bullshit ambition on climate change would look like," 8 Oct. 2018 This is also a novel of pain, of the trauma that’s inherited and the pain that’s passed along in the blood. Nina Maclaughlin, BostonGlobe.com, "What is an Indian?," 15 June 2018 First published in 1962, The Letter for the King is a medieval adventure novel set in a fantasy feudal world of three kingdoms, two of which are threatened by the third. Scott Roxborough, The Hollywood Reporter, "Netflix to Adapt Dutch Kids Book 'The Letter for the King' as Original Series," 12 July 2018 But the desire to integrate them as part of a curated Instagram lifestyle is something novel. Madeline Buxton, refinery29.com, "How Scooters Became A Go-To Instagram Prop — & The Next Transportation Revolution," 12 July 2018 About half the game is a visual novel, with branching dialogue and a strong emphasis on character and mood. Julie Muncy, WIRED, "Extreme Meatpunks Forever," 11 July 2018 If this book were a novel, the artist would have been exhibited in the Museum of Modern Art by now, but Art School arrives at a messier, braver conclusion. Belinda Luscombe, Time, "This Woman Went to Art School in Her 60s, Proving It’s Never Too Late to Pivot," 21 June 2018 The advent of arcades was as novel as the contemporary use of the micro-transactions common in mobile games now. Lindsay Grace, Smithsonian, "The Original ‘Space Invaders’ is an Icon of 1970s America’s Deepest Fears," 19 June 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

29 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

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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