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

Weed etiquette and mores will evolve as the novelty wears off. Robin Abrahams,, "Miss Conduct’s common sense rules for socializing in the age of legal pot," 19 June 2018 The new carriages will also be equipped with Wi-Fi, restrooms, and televisions but whether the selfie-snapping regulars will stick around after the novelty wears off and ticket prices are imposed is up for question. Eli Meixler / Phnom Penh, Time, "Riding the Rails: Phnom Penh's Airport Train Is a Milestone for Cambodia," 4 June 2018 The Coast Guard says the devices are valuable and most likely are being sold to nautical novelty stores or scrap yards. Fox News, "Coast Guard blows whistle on thieves of buoy bells, gongs," 1 June 2018 Indeed, by the mid-1920s, the novelty had worn off, due not only to paper’s limitations but to America’s roaring prosperity. Greg Daugherty, Smithsonian, "When Paper Clothing Was the Perfect Fit," 25 May 2018 So while the novelty surrounding each show has worn off to varying degrees, the quintet kept the customers satisfied. Glenn Whipp,, "Emmy voters will likely keep drama to a minimum this year," 23 May 2018 The Miner letter was enough to land Cobb his contract at Ripley’s, until the novelty wore off. Michael Lapointe, The Atlantic, "The Twisted Tale of the World’s Largest Pearl," 11 May 2018 They are sold in convenience stores, gas stations, drug paraphernalia shops, novelty stores and even online. Jacqueline Howard And Marlena Baldacci, CNN, "Fake weed hospitalizations grow to 70, two fatalities," 3 Apr. 2018 The novelty store Spencer’s has a section devoted to pong supplies: A glow-in-the-dark pong table can be yours for $129.99. Alexander Nazaryan, Newsweek, "America’s Best and Drunkest," 11 Sep. 2014

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

8 Oct 2018

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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

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).


not any or not one

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