novitiate

noun

no·​vi·​tiate nō-ˈvi-shət How to pronounce novitiate (audio)
nə-
1
: the period or state of being a novice
2
: a house where novices are trained
3
: novice

Examples of novitiate in a Sentence

a novitiate in the rarefied world of international diplomacy, the recently appointed ambassador is treading cautiously
Recent Examples on the Web Playing a nurse named Ann who lives next door to distraught widowed father Victor Fielding (Leslie Odom Jr.) and his 13-year-old daughter Angela (Lidya Jewett), Dowd is given a clunky backstory as a one-time novitiate nun, who abandoned plans to join the convent after breaking her commitment. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 3 Sep. 2019 Victor’s neighbor, Ann (Ann Dowd), a nurse and former novitiate, enlists a priest, Father Maddox (E.J. Bonilla), to perform an exorcism on the girls. Katie Walsh, Los Angeles Times, 4 Oct. 2023 The origin story of the evil spirit Valak from The Conjuring 2, The Nun stars Taissa Farmiga (sister of Vera) as Irene, a young novitiate and clairvoyant summoned to a convent to investigate a fellow nun’s suicide. Vulture, 8 Sep. 2023 At the heart of this production is Desi Oakley as Maria, the young novitiate who discovers love among seven von Trapp children and their stern father, Captain Georg von Trapp. Terry Byrne, BostonGlobe.com, 19 July 2023 In a retreat focused on the Virgin Mary held one month before the group was to enter the novitiate, the Mistress of Postulants told them that the 10 months of the postulancy are like the months of pregnancy—that the postulants were, in a very real spiritual sense, gestating Jesus in their wombs. Rebecca J. Lester, Scientific American, 16 May 2023 About a novitiate who is sent to Austria to care for seven children, this classic also stars Christopher Plummer and—believe or not—is the very thing that saved 20th Century Fox from going bankrupt, surpassing Gone with the Wind in box office numbers. Deanna Janes, Harper's BAZAAR, 28 Nov. 2022 Her name is Cristina (Ioana Bugarin), and, given that her first act is to sneak out of the convent with a change of clothes and to be ferried by taxi to the nearby town, one fears that her novitiate has gone awry. The New Yorker, 3 June 2022 There’s something almost old-world about Sarah Jo, who has the clothes of a 1950s teenager and the manners of an eager novitiate. Jourdain Searles, The Hollywood Reporter, 22 Jan. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'novitiate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

borrowed from Middle French & Medieval Latin; Middle French noviciat "period of being a novice," borrowed from Medieval Latin novīciātus, from Late Latin novīcius novice + Latin -ātus -ate entry 2

First Known Use

circa 1518, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of novitiate was circa 1518

Dictionary Entries Near novitiate

Cite this Entry

“Novitiate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/novitiate. Accessed 3 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

novitiate

noun
no·​vi·​tiate nō-ˈvish-ət How to pronounce novitiate (audio)
1
: the period or state of being a novice
2
3
: a place where novices are trained
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