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 pluralDisney 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 attributivelyThe 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 Some young people are attracted to the novelty, and to the idea that insects are an environmentally friendly source of protein. Ben Dooley, New York Times, "In Japan, the ‘Murder Hornet’ Is Both a Lethal Threat and a Tasty Treat," 5 May 2020 If social distancing ever had any novelty, surely it's worn off by now. Elizabeth Gulino,, "Can I Get Coronavirus From Sex?," 8 Apr. 2020 More: Not a novelty: Top prep female wrestlers in our backyard as state girls tournaments expand More: Who are top Greater Cincinnati individual high school wrestlers by weight class, Feb. 19? Sierra Newton,, "OHSWCA high school wrestling: Cincinnati girls make strong statement at state tournament," 5 Apr. 2020 That kind of staying power is rare in an industry that prizes novelty over stability, always chasing the newest trend. Matthew Gault, Time, "'It Nearly Brings Me to Tears.' 20 Years On, The Sims' Diehard Fans Could Never Let Go," 16 Mar. 2020 Not the spectacle, not the novelty, and certainly not as a favor to McLaren, who ended its brand ambassador contract with the driver at the end of 2019. Nathan Brown, Indianapolis Star, "Insider: Fernando Alonso sees promise in McLaren's evolution since failed 2019 Indy 500 bid," 26 Feb. 2020 When this happens, embodied experiences offer a sense of novelty, adventure, and above all, physicality. Carola Jain, Quartz, "Millennials’ complex relationship with their cell phones is driving the experience economy," 29 Oct. 2019 But the island, the bookstore and the heroine were the first book’s main attractions, if only for their novelty in the Grishamverse. Janet Maslin, New York Times, "John Grisham Returns to Camino Island, This Time in Hurricane Season," 27 Apr. 2020 Tonight: The gods and goddesses are apt to respond to humor and novelty., "Horoscope," 17 Apr. 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.

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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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Time Traveler for novelty

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for novelty

Last Updated

20 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Novelty.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for novelty


How to pronounce novelty (audio)

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

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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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