no·​vel·​la nō-ˈve-lə How to pronounce novella (audio)
plural novellas or novelle nō-ˈve-lē How to pronounce novella (audio)
plural novelle : a story with a compact and pointed plot
plural novellas : a work of fiction intermediate in length and complexity between a short story and a novel

Examples of novella in a Sentence

pressed for time, many English teachers have their students read the one novella among the novelist's works
Recent Examples on the Web With Martin's collection of novellas as inspiration, Peter Claffey will star as Ser Duncan the Tall — a.k.a., 14 May 2024 The run time seems appropriate given Knight is an adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s 160-page novella The Hedge Knight rather than one of his 900-page epic novels. James Hibberd, The Hollywood Reporter, 7 May 2024 Now the best-selling author of over 60 novels and novellas, as well as 12 short story collections and five works of nonfiction, King has been terrifying readers for generations, and shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. Carly Tagen-Dye, Peoplemag, 5 Apr. 2024 Loosely adapting a 1903 Henry James novella, Bonello fractures the story to take place in three time periods: Paris in 1910, Los Angeles in 2014 and back to Paris in 2044. Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times, 5 Apr. 2024 How was Life of Chuck, based on Stephen King’s novella? Magical. Brian Davids, The Hollywood Reporter, 15 Mar. 2024 The Dunk and Egg novellas that this new spinoff is based on are some of my favorite bits in the whole Westerosi catalogue. Erik Kain, Forbes, 24 Feb. 2024 While Cahan’s novella canted toward Jake’s perspective, Rothstein’s play is an unabashedly feminist-forward retelling. Rhoda Feng, Washington Post, 2 Apr. 2024 This veteran Texas troubadour is a masterful musical storyteller whose best songs are evocative enough to be novellas. George Varga, San Diego Union-Tribune, 17 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'novella.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


borrowed from Italian, "piece of news, announcement, story, narrative," noun derivative from feminine of novello "new," going back to Latin novellus "young, tender (of plants or animals)," from novus "new" + -ellus, diminutive suffix — more at new entry 1

First Known Use

1677, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of novella was in 1677

Dictionary Entries Near novella

Cite this Entry

“Novella.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


no·​vel·​la nō-ˈvel-ə How to pronounce novella (audio)
: a work of fiction falling between a short story and a novel in length and complexity

More from Merriam-Webster on novella

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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