[ bil-doo ngz-roh-mahn; German beel-doo ngks-raw-mahn ]
/ ˈbɪl dʊŋz roʊˌmɑn; German ˈbil dʊŋks rɔˌmɑn /

noun, plural Bil·dungs·ro·mans, German Bil·dungs·ro·ma·ne [beel-doo ngks-raw-mah-nuh] /ˈbil dʊŋks rɔˌmɑ nə/.

a type of novel concerned with the education, development, and maturing of a young protagonist.


Origin of Bildungsroman

1905–10; < German, equivalent to Bildung formation + -s noun ending in compounds + Roman novel Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for bildungsroman


/ German (ˈbɪldʊŋsromaːn) /


a novel concerned with a person's formative years and development

Word Origin for Bildungsroman

literally: education novel
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for bildungsroman



1910, from German Bildungsroman, from Bildung "education, formation, growth" (from Bild "picture, image, figure;" Old High German bilade) + roman "novel" (see romance). A novel set in the formative years, or the time of spiritual education, of the main character.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper