- a fictitious prose narrative of considerable length and complexity, portraying characters and usually presenting a sequential organization of action and scenes.
- (formerly) novella(def 1).
Origin of novel1
- an extended work in prose, either fictitious or partly so, dealing with character, action, thought, etc, esp in the form of a story
- the novel the literary genre represented by novels
- (usually plural) obsolete a short story or novella, as one of those in the Decameron of Boccaccio
- of a kind not seen before; fresh; new; originala novel suggestion
- Roman law a new decree or an amendment to an existing statuteSee also Novels
Word Origin and History for novellike
"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).
"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"]
A long, fictional narration in prose. Great Expectations and Huckleberry Finn are novels, as are War and Peace and Lord of the Flies.