nov·​el·​ty | \ˈnä-vəl-tē \
plural novelties

Definition of novelty 

1 : something new or unusual the novelty of a self-driving car

2 : the quality or state of being novel : newness an uncritical acceptance of novelty as advance— H. M. Jones A toy's novelty soon wears off.

3 : a small manufactured article intended mainly for personal or household adornment usually used in plural Disney novelties filled the shelves.

4 : something (such as a song or food item) that provides often fleeting amusement and is often based on a theme often used attributively The movie included a few novelty songs.

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Examples of novelty in a Sentence

the novelty of space exploration Electric-powered cars are still novelties. Eating shark meat is a novelty to many people.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Fast-forward three years and the streaming services are now awash in European television, and the novelty factor on Deutschland has certainly ebbed, but a preview of the first four episodes of the new season hooked me. Taylor Antrim, Vogue, "Escapist Spy Thriller Deutschland 86 Breaks the Curse of the Second Season," 24 Oct. 2018 But novelties wear off, and people will always prefer convenience and affordability. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, "Ford’s self-driving cars are really good, but are they good enough to win?," 15 Nov. 2018 When the novelty goes, so does a certain level of audience indulgence. Taylor Antrim, Vogue, "Escapist Spy Thriller Deutschland 86 Breaks the Curse of the Second Season," 24 Oct. 2018 The new gig comes after James' novelty marshmallow company, Boomf, posted losses of £3 million over the past three years and also follows a high-profile split from his girlfriend of five years, actress Donna Air, in February. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Kate Middleton's Brother, James Middleton, Is Working as a Tour Guide in Scotland After His Company Lost £3 million," 30 Sep. 2018 Jazz festival review Monterey, Calif. — There was a time when jazz groups led by women were considered a novelty. Paul De Barros, The Seattle Times, "From Norah Jones to Dawn Clement, women shone at Monterey Jazz Festival 2018," 24 Sep. 2018 Witches' Brew and Sweet Seduction will each come in five size and style options: a large jar for $27.99, a medium jar for $24.99, a medium perfect pillar for $19.99, novelty ceramic candle for $14.99, and of course, a votive for only $1.99. Brittney Morgan, House Beautiful, "Yankee Candle Is Releasing Two New Scary-Good Halloween Candles This Week," 21 Aug. 2018 Now, two months later, the cameras have retreated; the spotlight has dimmed; and driving to run errands or visit family has gone from novelty to normalcy for Saudi women. Sarah Khan, Condé Nast Traveler, "Driving On Her Own in Saudi Arabia," 17 Aug. 2018 That stands in contrast to what seems like a bygone time when the strikeout represented such a novelty that each one required an act of documentation and celebration. Alex Speier,, "What’s up with all the strikeouts in Major League Baseball?," 12 July 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for novelty

Middle English novelte, borrowed from Anglo-French novelté, from novel "new, novel entry 1" + -té -ty

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Statistics for novelty

Last Updated

3 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for novelty

The first known use of novelty was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for novelty



English Language Learners Definition of novelty

: the quality or state of being new, different, and interesting

: something that is new or unusual : something novel

: something unusual and entertaining that is popular for a short period of time


nov·​el·​ty | \ˈnä-vəl-tē \
plural novelties

Kids Definition of novelty

1 : something new or unusual Grandma remembers when television was a novelty.

2 : the quality or state of being new or unusual The toy's novelty soon wore off.

3 : a small unusual ornament or toy


nov·​el·​ty | \ˈnä-vəl-tē \
plural novelties

Legal Definition of novelty 

: the quality or state of being new : quality of being different from anything in prior existence satisfied the requirement of novelty for a patent on the design

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More from Merriam-Webster on novelty

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for novelty

Spanish Central: Translation of novelty

Nglish: Translation of novelty for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of novelty for Arabic Speakers

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