dime novel


a cheap melodramatic or sensational novel, usually in paperback and selling for ten cents, especially such an adventure novel popular c1850 to c1920.

Origin of dime novel

An Americanism dating back to 1860–65
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for dime novel

Contemporary Examples of dime novel

  • But nor do they go for the dime-novel fabulism like Lipsyte's Times battery mate Arthur Daley.

    The Daily Beast logo
    On the Peninsula

    Bryan Curtis

    April 25, 2011

Historical Examples of dime novel

  • "M'Gibbon's been reading some dime-novel, I suppose," said one club man.

    The Wrecker

    Robert Louis Stevenson and Lloyd Osbourne

  • "I never read a dime-novel in my life," she interrupted, indignantly.

    The Foolish Virgin

    Thomas Dixon

  • If you're trying to scare me by that dime-novel talk I guess you've hit the wrong man.


    John Buchan

  • Clinical psychiatry, however, has been content with the dime-novel type of character delineation.

    Benign Stupors

    August Hoch

  • From the pocket of the last to respond protruded the unmistakable cover of a dime-novel.

    The Young Railroaders

    Francis Lovell Coombs

British Dictionary definitions for dime novel

dime novel


US (formerly) a cheap melodramatic novel, usually in paperbackAlso called (esp Brit): penny-dreadful
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