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

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 Clarke played the role of Holly Golightly, made famous by Audrey Hepburn and her little black dress in the 1961 film based on Truman Capote's 1958 novella. Sara Netzley,, 25 June 2022 Originally published as a novella in 2008, Kawakami later expanded Breasts and Eggs into a two-section novel about working-class women seeking greater autonomy over their bodies and minds. Idra Novey, The Atlantic, 22 May 2022 The entire home, in fact, reads like a novella, with elements of the natural world, travel, and the pursuit of knowledge showing up in lovely and exciting interventions. Camille Okhio, ELLE Decor, 9 May 2022 Miller’s take on the material mainly sacrifices the feminist elements of Byatt’s novella in favor of investigating the magic of movie storytelling. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 20 May 2022 Her mother, in turn, introduced the book to Tournié, reading the novella to her young daughter before bedtime. Jeryl Brunner, Forbes, 18 Apr. 2022 Landing just a year after the novella was first published, 1992 feature Damage from director Louis Malle starred Jeremy Irons, Juliette Binoche, Miranda Richardson, Rupert Graves and Ian Bannen. Alex Ritman, The Hollywood Reporter, 17 Mar. 2022 Through various monologues, the novella creates not just a suspenseful thriller, but a textured, rich portrait of a community over time. Claire Messud, Harper’s Magazine , 16 Mar. 2022 This loss is signified throughout the novella by a bust of the old Austrian emperor Franz Joseph that Morstin keeps outside his manor house in a village near Brody. Tom Mctague, The Atlantic, 25 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About novella

Time Traveler for novella

Time Traveler

The first known use of novella was in 1677

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near novella




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for novella

Last Updated

14 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Novella.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on novella

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Commonly Confused Words Quiz

  • vector image of a face with thought expression
  • I went to the ______ store to buy a birthday card.
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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