• synonyms


or no·vi·ci·ate

[noh-vish-ee-it, -eyt]
See more synonyms for novitiate on Thesaurus.com
  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.
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Origin of novitiate

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

Examples from the Web for novitiate

Historical Examples

  • The novitiate has its great joys, but it has its great trials also.

    The Christian

    Hall Caine

  • So she began her novitiate and was presently received into the order.

    A Little Girl in Old Detroit

    Amanda Minnie Douglas

  • The air of assurance and dignity about it all was exceedingly noticeable to the novitiate.

    Sister Carrie

    Theodore Dreiser

  • It may have been so; he was still in his novitiate of infamy.

  • We ourselves do not care to take pupils who have no idea at all of the novitiate.

    The Master Mummer

    E. Phillips Oppenheim

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
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Word Origin

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).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper