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

While designing restaurants for the Italian owners, Hilzim learned the art of fresh pasta, a then-novel concept in the United States. Judy Walker, NOLA.com, "Crawfish Monica marks 35 years at New Orleans Jazz Fest," 1 May 2018 This improving lift thing is a very novel concept using the shark denticles. Sydney Pereira, Newsweek, "To Fly Faster, Humans Look to the Mysteries of Shark Skin," 7 Feb. 2018 The little two-wheelers in uptown, South End and a few other Charlotte neighborhoods are as novel as the first escalators would be in a small town. Bruce Henderson, charlotteobserver, "'Saw a guy riding down the sidewalk... texting on his phone.' Here come the scooters.," 14 June 2018 Dwumfour says that threads with the simplest advice perform best: What seems like common sense to an adult or college student might be novel to your average 12-year-old. Taylor Lorenz, The Atlantic, "How Instagram Threads Became the WikiHow for Gen Z," 5 June 2018 In another industrial revolution, humans are making new things in novel ways into hitherto impossible shapes, using the technology of a fizzled craze: 3D printing. Jason Pontin, WIRED, "3D Printing Is the Future of Factories (for Real This Time)," 11 July 2018 In early 2016, while working as Donald Trump's top campaign lawyer, Donald McGahn came up with a novel idea whose reverberations are still being felt. Joel Achenbach, chicagotribune.com, "A look at the list helping Trump reshape the Supreme Court," 8 July 2018 Her trainer and long-term companion, Penny Patterson, thought Koko went further still, signing in novel ways and showing complex emotions. The Economist, "What Koko the gorilla could and couldn’t do," 5 July 2018 In this novel way of funding charitable work, a financial institution gives money to a charity, which tries to achieve various specified outcomes. The Economist, "Development-impact bonds are costly, cumbersome—and good," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The film is an adaptation of the novel by the same name, written by author Emily M. Danforth. Stephen Daw, Billboard, "Chloe Grace Moretz Rebels Through Conversion Therapy in 'The Miseducation of Cameron Post' Trailer," 10 July 2018 Based on Flynn’s 2006 bestselling novel of the same name, the show is in many ways a vehicle for female rage and a progression of the #MeToo conversation. refinery29.com, "Sharp Objects Will Have End Cards For Its Potentially Triggering Content," 7 July 2018 But setting up the plot of a novel turned out to be the easy part. Naomi Fry, The New Yorker, "The Mail," 24 June 2018 The cover of Michael Ondaatje’s new novel Warlight shows an archival photo of a 1930s London streetscape bathed in fog. Andrew Lanham, The New Republic, "Michael Ondaatje’s Haunting Pasts," 8 June 2018 The movie is based on a novel, not on the Biblical account of Jesus. Anne Ryman, azcentral, "Maricopa colleges get complaints over showing 'The Last Temptation of Christ' in class," 7 June 2018 The final pages of the novel furnish potential solutions for Annie's difficult journey. Special To The Oregonian, OregonLive.com, "In 'All Coyote's Children,' eastern Oregon author links family, land, loss and culture," 4 June 2018 Peter Jackson, the Oscar-winning mastermind behind The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, is spearheading the upcoming adaptation (in theaters Dec. 14) of Philip Reeve’s 2001 young-adult dystopian novel. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, "First photos: It's city-eat-city in Peter Jackson's YA adaptation of 'Mortal Engines'," 3 June 2018 Copies of The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho’s famous novel about an Andalusian shepherd boy who finds his destiny by going on a journey to Egypt, had been placed on every chair. John Carreyrou, WIRED, "A New Look Inside Theranos’ Dysfunctional Corporate Culture," 21 May 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

17 Sep 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

Comments on novel

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