novel

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

Definition of novel

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : new and not resembling something formerly known or used New technologies are posing novel problems.
b : not previously identified transmission of a novel coronavirus a novel genetic mutation novel bacterial strains
2 : original or striking especially in conception or style a novel scheme to collect money novel solutions

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from novel

Noun

novelistic \ ˌnä-​və-​ˈli-​stik How to pronounce novel (audio) \ adjective
novelistically \ ˌnä-​və-​ˈli-​sti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce novel (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 To significantly slow the spread of the novel virus in the state, and ultimately see a reduction in coronavirus deaths, LaBaer said at least 50% of residents will need to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Madeline Farber, Fox News, "Coronavirus could soon become leading cause of death in Arizona, researcher warns," 15 Jan. 2021 Within months of first identifying this novel virus, a global consortium of research scientists was established to study the relationship between Covid-19 and the brain. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, "Dr. Sanjay Gupta: Memory fades as we age. But it doesn't have to," 5 Jan. 2021 The story was about a city whose name few of us had known a few weeks prior, under siege from a novel virus. Julia Wick, Los Angeles Times, "‘Today is the day that life has changed’: An oral history of L.A., COVID-19 and 2020," 3 Jan. 2021 The approach is similar to how large companies often handle seasonal flu shots, though this vaccine targets a novel virus that shut down many workplaces across the country, corporate medical advisers say. Sarah Krouse, WSJ, "Why Many Bosses Won’t Require Workers to Get the Covid-19 Vaccine," 21 Dec. 2020 The strain identified in southern England, called VUI 202012/01, is one of thousands of SARS-CoV-2 strains that have been found around the world since the novel virus was first identified in Wuhan, China in December of 2019. Popular Science, "There’s a new coronavirus strain in the UK, but don’t panic," 16 Dec. 2020 How can the vaccine for a novel virus be 95 percent effective? Isaac Schorr, National Review, "You Can Trust the Coronavirus Vaccines," 10 Dec. 2020 More than 14 million people in the United States have or have had coronavirus and more than 279,000 people have died from the novel virus. Kaylee Remington, cleveland, "Ohio reports 10,469 new coronavirus cases, 64 new deaths: Saturday update," 5 Dec. 2020 Buckingham Palace confirmed that the sovereign and the Duke of Edinburgh will instead stay put at Windsor Castle as the United Kingdom continues to slow down the spread of the novel virus. Bianca Betancourt, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Queen and Prince Philip Will Skip Christmas at Sandringham Due to COVID-19," 1 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun So far in Michigan, novel coronavirus has infected 562,510 people and killed 14,672. Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan makes big strides on nursing home vaccinations," 4 Feb. 2021 More information about the virus and vaccines is available at www.healthy.arkansas.gov/programs-services/topics/novel-coronavirus. Ashton Eley, Arkansas Online, "State reports 881 virus cases, 30 deaths," 1 Feb. 2021 The sales jump came even though Tesla was forced to close its only U.S. assembly plant for almost two months as the novel coronavirus surged in the spring. Tom Krisher, Star Tribune, "Tesla posts 1st annual profit but misses analysts' estimates," 27 Jan. 2021 The sales jump came even though Tesla was forced to close its only U.S. assembly plant for almost two months as the novel coronavirus surged in the spring. Tom Krisher, ajc, "Tesla fights pandemic, rides sales jump to 1st annual profit," 27 Jan. 2021 Long-haulers who contracted the novel coronavirus early in the pandemic are just about to round the one-year mark. New York Times, "What If You Never Get Better From Covid-19?," 21 Jan. 2021 So last winter, as the novel coronavirus hit far-off places, the residents of Ibasho girded themselves. Gregory Barber, Wired, "How Many Microcovids Would You Spend on a Burrito?," 12 Jan. 2021 On March 10, Cardi B confronted her growing alarm about the then-new novel coronavirus by posting a brief but expletive-filled video on Instagram — and reflected so many of our own anxieties in the process. Los Angeles Times, "Here are the top Latino media moments of 2020 — and hints of what to expect in 2021," 31 Dec. 2020 Formerly, this disease was referred to as '2019 novel coronavirus' or '2019-nCoV,' the CDC explains in a Sept. 1 fact sheet. Chelsey Cox, USA TODAY, "Fact check: COVID-19 is short for 'coronavirus disease 2019'," 30 Dec. 2020

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.

See More

First Known Use of novel

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about novel

Time Traveler for novel

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for novel

Last Updated

21 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Novel.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/novel. Accessed 27 Feb. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on novel

What made you want to look up novel? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

February 2021 Words of the Day Quiz

  • squirrel in winter
  • Which is a synonym of perdure?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!