Main definitions of novel in English

: novel1novel2

novel1

noun

  • 1A fictitious prose narrative of book length, typically representing character and action with some degree of realism:

    ‘the novels of Jane Austen’
    ‘a paperback novel’
    • ‘In 1998, my first novel was published.’
    • ‘Over the past decade ambitious directors have brought a whole spate of twentieth-century novels to the screen.’
    • ‘The plot of the novel concerns a terrorist attack on London and the resulting death of a child and his father.’
    • ‘Red Dragon is adapted from the Thomas Harris novel of the same name.’
    • ‘When I was fourteen or fifteen I read a trashy romance novel called Perfect by Judith McNaught.’
    • ‘Q. Do you fancy the challenge of adapting a graphic novel?’
    • ‘They both published bestselling first novels called Less Than Zero before graduating college.’
    • ‘Dashiell Hammett's cynical detective novel was published in 1929 and was immediately popular.’
    • ‘Like many American sentimental novels, these Irish-American novels often feature a child as the hero.’
    • ‘The Friendly Tree was the first of three largely autobiographical novels.’
    • ‘Herman Melville's short novel, Billy Budd, is a complex piece of writing that deserves to be read on its own terms.’
    • ‘Two hundred years later the playwright Christopher Hampton took Laclos's novel and turned it into a play.’
    • ‘For these reasons, Frankenstein has been considered the first science fiction novel.’
    • ‘The classic English detective novel marries the two elements.’
    • ‘He has written the world's first science fiction novel entirely in Scots.’
    • ‘Adapted from the original novel by H.G. Wells, the film is co-directed by his great-grandson Simon Wells.’
    • ‘Is it comparable then to the greatest novel of the century, Ulysses?’
    • ‘The book was an instant success and was followed by eight more historical, romantic novels in five years.’
    • ‘As mystery fans know, Elizabeth George is an American writer, who writes best-selling mystery novels set in England.’
    • ‘If you were to choose a Janet Frame novel to make into a radio drama, Living in the Maniototo might not be it.’
    book, paperback, hardback
    story, tale, narrative, romance, work of fiction
    bestseller
    blockbuster
    yellowback, three-decker
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1the novel The literary genre represented or exemplified by novels:
      ‘the novel is the most adaptable of all literary forms’
      • ‘Has poetry suffered as the novel has risen in popularity and status over the last three centuries?’
      • ‘He lost interest in the novel and novel writing itself for six or so months.’
      • ‘How long would it take to key in this exemplar of the disintegration of the cultural form of the novel?’
      • ‘He really did believe that poetry could handle everything the novel could handle.’
      • ‘What would happen to a literary form like the novel if it was invisibly hollowed out rather than brilliantly exploded?’
      • ‘Naipaul observed some years ago that the novel had become obsolete as a literary form.’

Origin

Mid 16th century: from Italian novella (storia) new (story), feminine of novello new, from Latin novellus, from novus new. The word is also found from late Middle English until the 18th century in the sense ‘a novelty, a piece of news’, from Old French novelle (see novel).

Pronunciation:

novel

/ˈnɒv(ə)l/

Main definitions of novel in English

: novel1novel2

novel2

adjective

  • Interestingly new or unusual:

    ‘he hit on a novel idea to solve his financial problems’
    • ‘Four landers will explore for subsurface liquid water using a novel low-frequency sounding method.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, for most novel proteins, that day is currently a long way off.’
    • ‘This is not to say that this campaign has not produced any novel ideas; they have just been lost in the flood.’
    • ‘Lots of novel ideas were put forward for the competition and a few of these will be tried out before a final decision is made.’
    • ‘New acquaintances may have much to offer you in the way of fresh insights and novel interests.’
    • ‘On a very practical level, however, what the biochemistry suggests is some entirely novel approaches to treatment.’
    • ‘Critics note that novel genes introduced into GM plants could produce proteins that are toxic, allergenic or carcinogenic.’
    • ‘One novel idea is to attempt a mass centipede walk around the athletics track at the County Ground.’
    • ‘Over a period of five months, about 8,000 people were infected by a novel human coronavirus.’
    • ‘In addition to the known genes, we identified six mutations of novel genes.’
    • ‘Last autumn and winter brought the prospect of a new manager and fresh legs and novel ideas.’
    • ‘It is not surprising that Fisher's novel ideas took time to become accepted.’
    • ‘But Cribs is not an entirely novel idea.’
    • ‘In these cases, it is likely that these suppressor mutations define novel genes.’
    • ‘But it's an entirely novel concept and provides a totally different experience to the viewer.’
    • ‘They are governed by logic and reason, and look with suspicion on any new or novel idea.’
    • ‘I simply immerse myself in novel ideas and experiences, and leave it up to my brain to find a solution’
    • ‘Even within the profession itself, " knowledge sharing " remains a somewhat novel concept.’
    • ‘They should start now, instead of startling the public with novel ideas on the eve of the next general election.’
    • ‘The novel idea aims to promote healthy eating habits for school children around the country.’
    new, original, unusual, unfamiliar, unconventional, off-centre, unorthodox, different, fresh, imaginative, creative, innovative, innovatory, innovational, inventive, modern, ultra-modern, state-of-the-art, advanced, avant-garde, futuristic, pioneering, groundbreaking, trailblazing, revolutionary
    rare, unique, singular, unprecedented, uncommon
    experimental, untested, untried, unknown, surprising, strange, exotic, out of the ordinary, newfangled
    left-field
    new-fashioned, neoteric
    View synonyms

Origin

Late Middle English (in the sense ‘recent’): from Old French, from Latin novellus, from novus new.

Pronunciation:

novel

/ˈnɒv(ə)l/