Definition of dime novel in English:

dime novel


North American
  • A cheap, popular novel, typically a melodramatic romance or adventure story.

    • ‘At age 14, he enrolled in the City College of New York where he continued writing dime novels and pulp fiction which enabled him to support himself during college.’
    • ‘By the mid- and late 1870s Buffalo Bill was the featured character in a slew of dime novels, the vast majority of which were penned by a stable of writers capitalizing on his ever-growing popularity.’
    • ‘But the antebellum popular presses also generated an incredible amount of serial literature, including thrillers and adventure stories, also known as ‘penny-dreadfuls’ or dime novels.’
    • ‘Go back two centuries ago and remember how dime novels and penny dreadfuls were no sooner evoked than evicted from church life.’
    • ‘Reactions to this aerial spectacle conformed to other media-inspired moral panics throughout American history, from dime novels to video games and TV.’
    • ‘Anyway, they had some great postcards made from posters for old horror movies and dime novels.’
    • ‘What the cosmos of a sixteenth-century miller has to do with twentieth century hard-boiled detective fiction and nineteenth-century dime novels is beyond me.’
    • ‘In his old age, Buffalo Bill Cody, one of the most flamboyant architects of our perceptions of the West, openly admitted to lying about his violent exploits to sell more dime novels.’
    • ‘Then I began reading my ghost story dime novel, about the young American woman who went to Europe to write a book.’
    • ‘Between 1840 and 1890, publishers began printing and distributing inexpensive fiction variously called dime novels, story papers, or cheap libraries.’
    • ‘As the distant thunder rumbled and came closer, I thought of the next dime novel I had been planning to read, a ghost story.’
    • ‘New York publishers had introduced the dime novel, a lurid form that needed larger-than-life heroes.’
    • ‘Promoted through advertisements, dime novels, and photographs, the Indian princess was young and beautiful.’
    • ‘But in the pulps, as in the dime novels and movies, the Mounties invariably got their man - but not before being put through their and their horses' paces.’
    • ‘The old dime novel was not palmed off as literature upon an unsuspecting public as the new dime novel is.’
    • ‘She is as old as Eve, and as current as today's movies, comic books and dime novels.’
    • ‘His determination to spice up his story makes it sometimes read like a dime novel about a drink-crazed mafia don.’
    • ‘They've read the dime novels and the newspapers.’
    • ‘Romanticized in everything from dime novels to motion pictures, American ranchers enjoyed a level of political power that would strike envy into the heart of an oil-company lobbyist.’
    • ‘It's a banal little story, a masterpiece of the nineteenth century that, had it been written today, would have been dismissed as another trashy dime novel in the 2.99 bin of a local book store.’


dime novel