or no·vi·ci·ate

[noh-vish-ee-it, -eyt]
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  1. the state or period of being a novice of a religious order or congregation.
  2. the quarters occupied by religious novices during probation.
  3. the state or period of being a beginner in anything.
  4. a novice.

Origin of novitiate

1590–1600; < Medieval Latin, equivalent to novīti(us) novice + -ātus -ate3 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Historical Examples of novitiate

British Dictionary definitions for novitiate



  1. the state of being a novice, esp in a religious order, or the period for which this lasts
  2. the part of a religious house where the novices live
  3. a less common word for novice

Word Origin for novitiate

C17: from French noviciat, from Latin novīcius novice
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 novitiate

also noviciate, "state of being a novice," c.1600, from Middle French noviciat or directly from Medieval Latin novitiatus, from Late Latin novitius "novice," from Latin adjective novicius (see novice).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper