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novel1

[nov-uh l]
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noun
  1. a fictitious prose narrative of considerable length and complexity, portraying characters and usually presenting a sequential organization of action and scenes.
  2. (formerly) novella(def 1).
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Origin of novel1

1560–70; < Italian novella (storia) new kind of story. See novel2
Related formsnov·el·like, adjective

novel2

[nov-uh l]
adjective
  1. of a new kind; different from anything seen or known before: a novel idea.
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Origin of novel2

1375–1425; late Middle English (< Middle French, Old French) < Latin novellus fresh, young, novel, diminutive of novus new

Synonyms

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novel3

[nov-uh l]
noun
  1. Roman Law.
    1. an imperial enactment subsequent and supplementary to an imperial compilation and codification of authoritative legal materials.
    2. Usually Novels,imperial enactments subsequent to the promulgation of Justinian's Code and supplementary to it: one of the four divisions of the Corpus Juris Civilis.
  2. Civil Law. an amendment to a statute.
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Origin of novel3

1605–15; < Late Latin novella (constitūtiō) a new (regulation, order). See novel2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

differentunusualoffbeatstrangeinnovativeuniqueoddpeculiarstoryyarnfictiontalenarrativeprosepaperbacknovellaavant-gardenowcontemporarysingular

Examples from the Web for novel

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • He went over once more the day's arguments for and against the novel emprise.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • "Oh, my dear," she said, clasping the novel with one hand while she embraced him with the other.

    The Foolish Lovers

    St. John G. Ervine

  • "And then there's the novel I wrote when I was at home," he concluded.

    The Foolish Lovers

    St. John G. Ervine

  • The last post had brought the proofs of his second novel to him.

    The Foolish Lovers

    St. John G. Ervine

  • My dear, you will be woefully disappointed if in my story you expect any thing like a novel.


British Dictionary definitions for novel

novel1

noun
  1. an extended work in prose, either fictitious or partly so, dealing with character, action, thought, etc, esp in the form of a story
  2. the novel the literary genre represented by novels
  3. (usually plural) obsolete a short story or novella, as one of those in the Decameron of Boccaccio
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Word Origin

C15: from Old French novelle, from Latin novella (narrātiō) new (story); see novel ²

novel2

adjective
  1. of a kind not seen before; fresh; new; originala novel suggestion
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Word Origin

C15: from Latin novellus new, diminutive of novus new

novel3

noun
  1. Roman law a new decree or an amendment to an existing statuteSee also Novels
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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 novel

adj.

"new, strange, unusual," early 15c., but little used before 1600, from Old French novel, nouvel "new, young, fresh, recent; additional; early, soon" (Modern French nouveau, fem. nouvelle), from Latin novellus "new, young, recent," diminutive of novus "new" (see new).

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n.

"fictitious narrative," 1560s, from Italian novella "short story," originally "new story," from Latin novella "new things" (cf. Middle French novelle, French nouvelle), neuter plural or fem. of novellus (see novel (adj.)). Originally "one of the tales or short stories in a collection" (especially Boccaccio's), later (1630s) "long work of fiction," works which had before that been called romances.

A novel is like a violin bow; the box which gives off the sounds is the soul of the reader. [Stendhal, "Life of Henri Brulard"]
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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

novel in Culture

novel

A long, fictional narration in prose. Great Expectations and Huckleberry Finn are novels, as are War and Peace and Lord of the Flies.

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.