[ nov-is ]
See synonyms for: novicenovices on

  1. a person who is new to the circumstances, work, etc., in which they are placed; beginner; tyro: The new senator was a novice in politics.

  2. a person who has been received into a religious order or congregation for a period of probation before taking vows.

  1. a person newly become a church member.

  2. a recent convert to Christianity.

Origin of novice

First recorded in 1300–50; Middle English novyce, from Middle French novice, from Medieval Latin novītius “convent novice,” variant of Latin novīcius “newly come into a particular status,” derivative of novus new. See -itious

Other words for novice

Other words from novice

  • nov·ice·hood, noun
  • nov·ice·like, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use novice in a sentence

  • Before this seat of justice many poor novices had quailed between spiritual and temporal power.

    Balsamo, The Magician | Alexander Dumas
  • The House is accustomed to a little hesitation in its novices and does not like to be lectured even by an Oxford don.

  • On entering each sister pays a sum of money to the general funds, and at first lives for a time along with other novices.

    Belgium | George W. T. (George William Thomson) Omond
  • From time to time nuns and novices pass across the stage to the left, on their way to the refectory.

  • Praise the Blessed Mother, in this noble house we need not depend on the novices for anything.

British Dictionary definitions for novice


/ (ˈnɒvɪs) /

    • a person who is new to or inexperienced in a certain task, situation, etc; beginner; tyro

    • (as modifier): novice driver

  1. a probationer in a religious order

  1. a sportsman, esp an oarsman, who has not won a recognized prize, performed to an established level, etc

  2. a racehorse, esp a steeplechaser or hurdler, that has not won a specified number of races

Origin of novice

C14: via Old French from Latin novīcius, from novus new

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