novel

adjective
nov·​el | \ ˈnä-vəl How to pronounce novel (audio) \

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 How to pronounce novelistic (audio) \ adjective
novelistically \ ˌnä-​və-​ˈli-​sti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce novelistically (audio) \ 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

We’ve since become acquainted with the designer and her novel approach to couture (the designer does not sell her couture pieces and partly operates her business like a club, with tiered memberships for her deep-pocketed clients). Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, "The Bowers Museum Opens Its Guo Pei Couture Exhibition With a Festive Gala," 18 Mar. 2019 In a study reported today in Science Robotics, Hang and colleagues designed and 3D printed bird-like legs for a drone, providing a simple, novel, cheap approach to letting uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs) perch. John Wenz, Popular Mechanics, "Clever New Landing Gear Allow Drones To Set Down Like Birds or Bats," 13 Mar. 2019 Celeste Ng’s best-selling 2017 novel Little Fires Everywhere will stream on Hulu later this year as a limited series starring Witherspoon and Kerry Washington. Zoë Ghertner, Vogue, "Reese Witherspoon: Activist, Advocate, Hollywood’s Moral Compass," 10 Jan. 2019 One is the growth of a class of prosperous Kenyans, many of whom take foreign holidays, clog Nairobi’s streets with 4x4 cars and have novel views about education. The Economist, "Elite private schools are booming in Kenya," 21 June 2018 Norm Macdonald has a novel idea for his new Netflix show: Be entertaining. Joe Flint, WSJ, "Norm Macdonald’s Talk-Show Plan: No Monologue, No Band, No Political Commentary," 5 Sep. 2018 Anacostia High School’s midwife program is a novel approach that’s showing promise in tackling the problem. Selena Simmons-duffin, Washington Post, "‘Where The Need Is:’ Tackling Teen Pregnancy With A Midwife At School," 12 June 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The novel’s first person POV is passed between Althea and her two younger sisters, Lillian and Viola. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "'The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls' Is a Stunning Debut From Anissa Gray," 1 Apr. 2019 When the novel opens the men have been arrested but in two days they will be released on bail, at which time the colony... Sam Sacks, WSJ, "Fiction: Tribulations, Trials and Tests of Faith," 29 Mar. 2019 Now, Amazon Prime has adapted the novel into a six episode series. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Good Omens Is Getting a TV Adaptation Starring David Tennant and Michael Sheen," 18 Mar. 2019 Just last night, from what was presumably a first class cabin, Bella instagrammed her in-flight entertainment of choice: The Outsider, the latest novel from Stephen King. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "Would You Join the Bella and Gigi Hadid Book Club?," 18 Mar. 2019 The beloved novel follows a teenager who’s a huge fan of the iconic singer, so naturally Dolly stepped in to help with the music. Megan Stein, Country Living, "Dolly Parton's Haunting New Version of 'Jolene' Will Give You Chills," 3 Dec. 2018 In recent years, Parker has become something of a book whisperer to her followers, sharing the novels she's loved on Instagram and even appearing on the red carpet last month with a copy of the newest Ottessa Moshfegh book. Louis Cheslaw, Condé Nast Traveler, "Fatima Farheen Mirza Has the Book for Your Spain Road Trip," 24 Aug. 2018 First, they were blessed with the news that PBS was making a new movie about the beloved novel. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'Anne of Green Gables' Is Getting Another Sequel — See the Just-Released Trailer," 10 Aug. 2018 Spanning 50 years, the novel opens in 1967, when Willa is 11 and growing up in small-town Pennsylvania. Laura Collins-hughes, BostonGlobe.com, "Waking up is hard to do," 13 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

2 Apr 2019

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 How to pronounce novel (audio) \

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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