novel

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

Definition of novel

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : new and not resembling something formerly known or used New technologies are posing novel problems.
2 : original or striking especially in conception or style a novel scheme to collect money

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 novelistic (audio) \ adjective
novelistically \ ˌnä-​və-​ˈli-​sti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce novelistically (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

Using the opposite, in this case, the relaxed chatter of unthreatened birds, is somewhat novel. Aj Willingham, CNN, "Squirrels listen in on bird chatter to decide if they're safe, and that's scientifically significant," 5 Sep. 2019 Kaepernick's grievance with justice wasn't novel but a part of our democratic discourse. Kevin B. Blackistone, courant.com, "Jay-Z says he stands with Colin Kaepernick. So why is he partnering with the NFL?," 17 Aug. 2019 One man found a novel way of cutting through Monday morning's rush-hour traffic in Dallas. Tom Steele, Dallas News, "Watch: Dallas scooter commuter calmly changes lanes during rush hour on I-35E," 22 July 2019 Lord Byron challenges his houseguests to write a ghost story, which leads Mary Shelley to begin her novel ``Frankenstein.’' (PG-13) 2 hrs. Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week Sept. 1 - 7, 2019: John Wayne in ‘The Searchers’ and more," 30 Aug. 2019 While the programs at Alta Group and Mulvaney’s B&L feel novel for the industry, some business owners have long offered mental health services to their workers. Janelle Bitker, SFChronicle.com, "Bay Area restaurant owners reckon with the industry’s mental health issues," 29 Aug. 2019 Some scholars were sceptical of the prosecution’s novel interpretation of what counts as a public nuisance, a misdeed typically associated with polluters or owners of brothels. The Economist, "Johnson & Johnson, Purdue and other opioid-peddlers face a reckoning," 29 Aug. 2019 John Updike pushed back somewhat in his novel Memories of the Ford Administration (1992). Thomas Balcerski, Smithsonian, "The 175-Year History of Speculating About President James Buchanan’s Bachelorhood," 28 Aug. 2019 Western experts and President Trump have suggested the explosion occurred while the Russian military was testing a novel type of cruise missile design that uses nuclear propulsion, which NATO refers to as the Skyfall missile. Andrew E. Kramer, New York Times, "Russia Identifies 4 Radioactive Isotopes From Nuclear Accident," 26 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Like the villains of J.R.R. Tolkien’s novels, the Skeksis crave immortality, and are willing to sacrifice anything and anyone to get it. Christian Holub, EW.com, "The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance," 31 Aug. 2019 Louise Penny is well known for a series of mystery novels that feature Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. Denise Davidsonwriter, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Louise Penny’s ‘A Better Man': Of forks in the road and life-changing decisions," 25 Aug. 2019 The first of eight novels, Little House in the Big Woods, came out in 1932. Elena Nicolaou, refinery29.com, "Little House, Big Fans: These People Really, Really Love Laura Ingalls Wilder," 24 Aug. 2019 IDEAS Bashir is the author of award-winning novels The Half Mother and Scattered Souls. Time, "The Indian Government Insists All Is Well in Kashmir. But As the Communications Shutdown Continues, Its Citizens Are Struggling to Reach the Outside World," 23 Aug. 2019 Dmitry Glukhovsky's trilogy of Metro novels has been a global best-seller, and the series was turned into a hit series of first-person shooter video games by 4A Games and publishers THQ. Scott Roxborough, The Hollywood Reporter, "Gazprom Media to Adapt Sci-Fi Epic 'Metro 2033' as Feature Film," 23 Aug. 2019 In the living room are stacks of coffee-table books and a thoughtful selection of novels chosen by independent store Books & Company, best flicked through in the rattan armchair. Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, "These 6 European Apartments Are Basically Private Design Hotels," 23 Aug. 2019 Liebert, who lives in Connecticut, is the author of four novels. Carole Goldberg, courant.com, "Elin Hilderbrand talks ‘Summer of ’69’; books about the dark side of suburban CT, sexual violence in India," 21 Aug. 2019 Riding in his pickup truck and listening to Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time fantasy novels, Pruitt drove hundreds of kilometers to track incoming storms and collect data. Kelly Mayes, Science | AAAS, "Tropical storms are making these spiders more aggressive," 19 Aug. 2019

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 1

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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Statistics for novel

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for novel

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

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on novel

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for novel

Spanish Central: Translation of novel

Nglish: Translation of novel for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of novel for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about novel

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