novel

adjective
nov·​el | \ ˈnä-vəl How to pronounce novel (audio) \

Definition of novel

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : new and not resembling something formerly known or used New technologies are posing novel problems.
b : not previously identified transmission of a novel coronavirus a novel genetic mutation novel bacterial strains
2 : original or striking especially in conception or style a novel scheme to collect money novel solutions

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 How to pronounce novel (audio) \ adjective
novelistically \ ˌnä-​və-​ˈli-​sti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce novel (audio) \ 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 More than 557,000 Americans have died of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. Author: Mary Jordan, Kevin Sullivan, Anchorage Daily News, "Biden administration to launch massive funeral assistance program for families hit by COVID-19," 7 Apr. 2021 No one can be certain when the protection of herd immunity will be reached because the novel coronavirus is new. From Staff Reports, The Enquirer, "COVID-19: Ohio lifted limits on outdoor events. So when will Taste, Oktoberfest be back?," 7 Apr. 2021 Data from the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Dashboard reports more than 238,900 people in Ireland have been infected by the novel coronavirus. Fox News, "2 moms arrested for refusing to quarantine at a hotel after getting breast surgery," 7 Apr. 2021 For example, a novel coronavirus provisionally named PREDICT_CoV-35 ranked in the top 20. Misha Gajewski, Forbes, "There’s A New App That Might Help Predict Which Viruses Could Cause The Next Pandemic," 6 Apr. 2021 More than 557,000 Americans have already died of covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. Washington Post, "Biden administration to launch massive funeral assistance program for covid victims," 6 Apr. 2021 This variant of the novel coronavirus, originally found in the United Kingdom, is about 50% more transmissible than other strands of the virus in the US, researchers reported in the journal Cell in March. Megan Marples, CNN, "Youth sports and other extracurriculars are spreading Covid-19, health officials say," 6 Apr. 2021 When President Joe Biden took office in January, his administration inherited a scarcity of the two vaccines that the FDA had by then authorized for emergency use against the novel coronavirus, which can cause the illness covid-19. BostonGlobe.com, "Biden vaccination goal stands despite plant contamination, White House says," 5 Apr. 2021 But the novel coronavirus can alter parts of these proteins through genetic mutation. Scott Gottlieb And Mark Mcclellan, WSJ, "Covid Arsenal Needs Pills as Well as Shots," 4 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The novel was the first, by Vulture’s estimation, to win both the Edgar Award and the Pulitzer Prize in the same year. Charu Sinha, Vulture, "Park Chan-wook to Direct TV Adaptation of The Sympathizer," 6 Apr. 2021 The novel is a fable rendered in the manner of realism. Claire Cameron, The New Yorker, "“Bear” Is About Much More Than Having Sex with a Bear," 5 Apr. 2021 Andrews’s novel is sharp, unpredictable and enormously entertaining. Washington Post, "‘Who is Maud Dixon?’ In this inventive thriller, you’ll be turning the pages to find out," 2 Apr. 2021 The novel is at once a page-turning thriller and an insightful morality tale that examines the devastating consequences of gentrification on the working class, especially in Portland. oregonlive, "Author Willy Vlautin’s new book examines new Portland and the meaning of home," 2 Apr. 2021 The novel is an apt reference point for a fashion world increasingly interested in genderless clothing — even if the results still sometimes feel limited. Rosalind Jana, refinery29.com, "Why Do Fashion People Love Virginia Woolf So Much?," 30 Mar. 2021 Ruff’s novel is, perhaps, the most egregious example of such failure. Siddhartha Deb, The New Republic, "The Shadow Over H.P. Lovecraft," 19 Mar. 2021 It was based on the semi-autobiographical novel by the writer Han Suyin, and Hong was one of several Asian American actors in the cast, along with Philip Ahn, Richard Loo, and Soo Yong. Alison Willmore, Vulture, "What Was the Asian American Character Actor?," 26 Mar. 2021 Based on the novel by Hugh Howey, Beacon 23 follows a tense battle of wills as Halan, the beacon-keeper, begins to question whether Aster is friend or foe. Tyler Aquilina, EW.com, "Game of Thrones star Lena Headey sets next TV role with sci-fi thriller Beacon 23," 17 Mar. 2021

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 1a

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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Time Traveler for novel

Time Traveler

The first known use of novel was in the 15th century

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Statistics for novel

Last Updated

10 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Novel.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/novel. Accessed 11 Apr. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce novel (audio) \

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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Comments on novel

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