nov·​el·​ty | \ ˈnä-vəl-tē How to pronounce novelty (audio) \
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.

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web That distinction is important while the sport rides out a wave of attention-grabbing novelty fights. New York Times, "Canelo Álvarez Is Back, and Boxing Is Back to Its Usual Uncertainty," 8 May 2021 At what point though, do these hijinks become less of a novelty and more of an aberration? Steve Gardner, USA TODAY, "Three Strikes: Anthony Rizzo's hilarious strikeout, a sad Mets trend and a call no one understood," 29 Apr. 2021 And for those that eventually close deals, investors should be aware of the novelty and think about the fundamentals of value creation. Iese Business School, Forbes, "Blank Checks Are Rarely Good. Are SPACs The Exception?," 28 Apr. 2021 As Dumezweni sees it, the varied roles in their different formats have revitalized her sense of novelty; of trying new and different things. Kovie Biakolo, Essence, "The Many Lanes Of Noma Dumezweni," 2 Apr. 2021 Jetpacks tend to be loud, difficult to maneuver, and expensive, ending up as more of a novelty than a military transportation system. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Pentagon Is Ready to Give Soldiers Jetpacks," 9 Mar. 2021 The neo-Renaissance townhouse at 3 East 89th Street was something of a novelty from its inception. Sarah Medford, WSJ, "Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn’s Art Gallery of the Future is Finally Here," 4 Mar. 2021 The example is a reminder of the novelty of Scruton’s thought, and his rationalizations of the seemingly irrational that so infuriate his critics. Barnaby Crowcroft, National Review, "Eternal Lessons from Wagner’s Last Opera," 26 Dec. 2020 But in 1970, Michael Jackson offered a different kind of novelty: This 12-year-old was, audibly, a vocal genius. Jody Rosen, Los Angeles Times, "The 50 best Christmas songs of the last 50 years," 14 Dec. 2020

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about novelty

Time Traveler for novelty

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for novelty

Last Updated

11 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Novelty.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 May. 2021.

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

Keep scrolling for more

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 How to pronounce novelty (audio) \
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 How to pronounce novelty (audio) \
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

Comments on novelty

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu jedi training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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