novice

noun
nov·​ice | \ ˈnä-vəs How to pronounce novice (audio) \

Definition of novice

1 : a person admitted to probationary membership in a religious community The novices spend part of each day in prayer and meditation.
2 : beginner, tyro

Keep scrolling for more

Did You Know?

Among the ancient Romans, a novice (novicius) was usually a newly imported slave, who had to be trained in his or her duties. Among Catholics and Buddhists, if you desire to become a priest, monk, or nun, you must serve as a novice for a period of time, often a year (called your novitiate), before being ordained or fully professing your vows. No matter what kind of novice you are—at computers, at writing, at politics, etc.—you've got a lot to learn.

Examples of novice in a Sentence

Novices serve time as scullery serfs as they work toward the privilege of trailing a pastry chef … — Guy Trebay, New York Times, 4 Sept. 2002 For the novice, walking the course also means being scared senseless by all the possibilities to screw up. — Tim Keown, ESPN, 17 Sept. 2001 Yet it's obvious to him and everyone else who the novice is here, the book-learned tournament virgin. — James McManus, Harper's, December 2000 Much defter than one would have thought possible from the length of her fingernails, Toula had no fear of high fast notes; her flair, mounted between Andrea's perfectionist reserve and Alice's novice awkwardness, seemed all too displayed. — John Updike, The Afterlife, 1994 He's a novice in cooking. a book for the novice chess player
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

The Armory Show pushes the boundaries of what the public perceives as art, and exposes bleeding edge forms to artistic novices. Zachary Schwartz, Vogue, "The Armory Show’s Collectors Dinner Gathered the Art World's Most Influential," 6 Mar. 2019 One of Ekkapol’s duties after he was ordained was taking care of younger novices, said Patcharadanai Kittisophano, a monk at the Phrathat Doi Wao temple, where the young coach now works as a custodian. Hannah Beech, The Seattle Times, "For some Thai soccer-team members, cave ordeal was only their latest test," 10 July 2018 His cabinet is formed largely of relative political novices from the anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S) and hard-right populists belonging to the Northern League. The Economist, "Italy, at last, gets a new government," 1 June 2018 On the Democratic side of the race, Susan Moran Palmer, a healthcare professional, came out on top in a crowded field of political novices. Seth A. Richardson & Andrew J. Tobias, cleveland.com, "Here are the 9 most interesting storylines from this week's Ohio primary election," 11 May 2018 Even novice do-it-yourselfers can build bed frames. Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, "How to Build Your Own Bed Frame," 21 Feb. 2019 Despite being a first-time filmmaker, Emma Forrest is no novice. Adam Rathe, Town & Country, "Untogether is the Indie Rom-Com You Need To See," 8 Feb. 2019 There’s pretty clear evidence that fingerprint experts are more accurate than lay people or novices. Angela Chen, The Verge, "The dean of UCLA Law explains the uncertain future of forensic science," 20 Dec. 2018 Veterans will recognize most of the commands, and novices should catch on quickly, especially in the user-friendly Word 2016. Jd Sartain, PCWorld, "How to create and share custom Style Sheets in Word and PowerPoint," 8 Aug. 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for novice

Middle English, borrowed from Anglo-French, "probationer in a religious community" (continental Old French also, "inexperienced person"), borrowed from Late Latin novīcius, going back to Latin, "newly imported slave, person recently entered into a condition," as adjective, "newly imported, recently discovered, fashionable," from novus "new" + -īcius -itious — more at new entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about novice

Dictionary Entries near novice

Novgorod

Novgorodian

Novi

novice

noviceship

novillada

novillero

Statistics for novice

Last Updated

15 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for novice

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for novice

novice

noun

English Language Learners Definition of novice

: a person who has just started learning or doing something
: a new member of a religious group who is preparing to become a nun or a monk

novice

noun
nov·​ice | \ ˈnä-vəs How to pronounce novice (audio) \

Kids Definition of novice

1 : a person who has no previous experience with something : beginner a novice at skiing
2 : a new member of a religious community who is preparing to take the vows of religion

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on novice

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for novice

Spanish Central: Translation of novice

Nglish: Translation of novice for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of novice for Arabic Speakers

Comments on novice

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

WORD OF THE DAY

the range of authority or knowledge

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt-painting-a-young-scholar-and-his-tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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