no·​vel·​la | \nō-ˈve-lə \
plural novellas or novelle\nō-​ˈve-​lē \

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

Keep scrolling for more

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 two are fantasy novellas from Tor’s imprint, and each are tiny adventures set in a much larger world. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "9 science fiction and fantasy books coming out this September you should add to your reading list," 1 Sep. 2018 The novella concludes with a final metamorphosis, one both strange and strangely hopeful. Sam Sacks, WSJ, "Fiction: The Union of Death and Desire," 22 Nov. 2018 Although fans are still waiting for a sequel, Beth Reekles did write a companion novella called The Beach House, which takes place the summer after Rochelle (Elle) and Noah start dating, before Noah heads off to Harvard. Victoria Rodriguez, Seventeen, "15 Facts About "The Kissing Booth" Every Fan Needs to Know," 13 June 2018 Like Bernstein’s opera, Voltaire’s 1759 novella defies category. Jordan Riefe, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Candide': Opera Review," 30 Jan. 2018 Carpenter’s work was an imaginative take on the novella Who Goes There? Charlie Theel, Ars Technica, "Who Goes There?: The Thing returns to the tabletop," 18 Aug. 2018 The flawed heroes of each novella are played by and against him. Steve Israel,, "What's the greatest book about politics? Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich and others weigh in.," 12 July 2018 Blake Edwards’s adaptation of the Truman Capote novella won two Oscars. Andrew R. Chow, New York Times, "What’s on TV Friday: ‘A Very English Scandal’ and ‘Kiss Me First’," 29 June 2018 For example: his 1981 novella, The Body, which tells the story of four young boys venturing into the woods to find a missing body. Alexandra Gekas, Woman's Day, "12 Best Movies Based on Books," 2 Aug. 2010

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about novella

Dictionary Entries near novella






novel news


Statistics for novella

Last Updated

16 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for novella

The first known use of novella was in 1677

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for novella



English Language Learners Definition of novella

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on novella

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


having a pattern of small flowers

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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