no·​vi·​tiate | \ nō-ˈvi-shət How to pronounce novitiate (audio) , nə-\

Definition of novitiate

1 : the period or state of being a novice
2 : a house where novices are trained
3 : novice

Keep scrolling for more

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

Brown entered Sacred Heart at age 18 in 1956 and studied at the novitiate for three years before leaving to enroll at UC Berkeley. Paul Rogers, The Mercury News, "New redwood park opening 15 miles from downtown San Jose," 7 June 2019 At 18, Sally considers going off to Chicago to become a novitiate, so as to subvert her mother’s more conventional plans for her. Helen Klein Ross, WSJ, "Five Best: Helen Klein Ross on Multigenerational Sagas," 1 Nov. 2018 His scholarly, somber demeanor reflected a background as a former Benedictine novitiate and college professor. Terence Mcardle, Washington Post, "Eugene McCarthy vs. LBJ: The New Hampshire primary showdown that changed everything 50 years ago," 12 Mar. 2018 The decisive moment comes during one of the most mesmerizing sections of the novel, when Sally takes an overnight train from New York’s old Penn Station to Chicago to enter the novitiate. Maureen Corrigan, WSJ, "Salvation and Self-Sacrifice," 15 Sep. 2017

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

circa 1518, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for novitiate

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about novitiate

Dictionary Entries near novitiate



Novi Sad





Statistics for novitiate

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for novitiate

The first known use of novitiate was circa 1518

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for novitiate



English Language Learners Definition of novitiate

: the time when a person is a religious novice

More from Merriam-Webster on novitiate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for novitiate

Comments on novitiate

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


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?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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