no·​vel·​la | \ nō-ˈve-lə How to pronounce novella (audio) \
plural novellas or novelle\ nō-​ˈve-​lē How to pronounce novelle (audio) \

Definition of novella

1 plural novelle : a story with a compact and pointed plot
2 plural novellas : a work of fiction intermediate in length and complexity between a short story and a novel

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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

The term of endearment is a borrowed from Truman Capote’s seminal novella, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, which also happens to be Ariana’s favorite movie, according to MTV. Dan Barna, Teen Vogue, "Pete Davidson and Ariana Grande Got Another Set of Matching Tattoos," 21 Sep. 2018 Because Nightflyers — based on the 1980 Martin novella of the same name — debuts on Syfy this Sunday night. Noel Murray, The Verge, "Before Game of Thrones and Nightflyers, George R.R. Martin’s work inspired a great Outer Limits episode," 30 Nov. 2018 There are some key differences from the novella, notably the time period. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Nightflyers has the bloody body count we expect from George R.R. Martin," 29 Nov. 2018 This first season of SYFY's Nightflyers will cover everything that happened in the original novella. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Nightflyers has the bloody body count we expect from George R.R. Martin," 29 Nov. 2018 Read the book and then the companion novella and then maybe rewatch the movie another couple dozen times. Hanna Lustig, Teen Vogue, "“The Kissing Booth” Sequel: Everything We Know About the Possible Movie," 12 July 2018 The premise and characters of Killing Eve were inspired by the Codename Villanelle novellas by Luke Jennings. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "Killing Eve: Everything We Know So Far About Season 2," 24 Dec. 2018 Early written records of the JAP appear first in Herman Wouk’s 1955 novel Marjorie Morningstar, and then, more famously, in Philip Roth’s 1959 novella Goodbye, Columbus. Jamie Lauren Keiles, Vox, "How the JAP became America’s most complex Jewish stereotype.," 5 Dec. 2018 But Melville finds no role, consoling or otherwise, for religion in his novella, and the despairing futility at its heart was unprecedented in American literature of the time. James Gardner, WSJ, "Debilitated, But Infinitely Human," 31 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'novella.' 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 novella

1677, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for novella

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

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Dictionary Entries near novella






novel news


Statistics for novella

Last Updated

11 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for novella

The first known use of novella was in 1677

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English Language Learners Definition of novella

: a short novel : a story that is longer than a short story but shorter than a novel

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More from Merriam-Webster on novella

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with novella

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for novella

Britannica English: Translation of novella for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about novella

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


to corrupt or become corrupted

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