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

Among the remaining: seven senators, six current/former congressional reps, three mayors, a former vice president, and a few political novices. NBC News, "What the final race of 2018 might tell us about 2020," 22 Aug. 2019 Beautycon LA is an opportunity for novices, influencers, and aficionados alike to convene in one space and discuss all things beauty. Shalwah Evans, Essence, "These Are The Black-Owned Brands From Beautycon LA You Should Be Shopping," 12 Aug. 2019 While vintage and grape types may be immediately evident even to a champagne novice, dosage can seem more daunting to champagne neophites. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "Everything You Need to Know About Brut Champagne," 21 Dec. 2018 Stormwater management standards, historic preservation requirements and zoning regulations can sometimes be mundane and complicated for a novice to read and understand. Erin B. Logan, baltimoresun.com, "Howard lawmaker proposes community liaison position to help residents understand zoning," 23 Aug. 2019 This historic national landmark offers day and overnight tours for spelunkers (both novice and experienced) to explore the cave’s 32 miles of stalagmites, stalactites, and other unique features. National Geographic, "Take an epic road trip to Tennessee’s coolest caverns," 16 Aug. 2019 Best of all, even novices can't mess up the application. Leah Muncy, Glamour, "The Self-Tanner Taylor Swift Allegedly Buys in Bulk," 14 Aug. 2019 With free events taking place at venues throughout the city, music novices and music lovers can find entertainment to celebrate the Summer Solstice. Michelle Pitcher, The Mercury News, "San Jose community briefs for the week of June 14," 14 June 2019 This millennial pink, soft-touch rubber tool fits over the cap of any polish bottle and provides control and comfort so that nail polishing novices can easily paint with their dominant and non-dominant hands. Amber Kallor, Allure, "Olive & June's New Tool Made Painting My Nails at Home So Much Easier," 14 Mar. 2019

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

13 Sep 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

readily or continually undergoing change

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

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!