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

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’
    • ‘This is not to say that this campaign has not produced any novel ideas; they have just been lost in the flood.’
    • ‘But it's an entirely novel concept and provides a totally different experience to the viewer.’
    • ‘It is not surprising that Fisher's novel ideas took time to become accepted.’
    • ‘New acquaintances may have much to offer you in the way of fresh insights and novel interests.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, for most novel proteins, that day is currently a long way off.’
    • ‘But Cribs is not an entirely novel idea.’
    • ‘One novel idea is to attempt a mass centipede walk around the athletics track at the County Ground.’
    • ‘They are governed by logic and reason, and look with suspicion on any new or novel idea.’
    • ‘In these cases, it is likely that these suppressor mutations define novel genes.’
    • ‘Last autumn and winter brought the prospect of a new manager and fresh legs and novel ideas.’
    • ‘In addition to the known genes, we identified six mutations of novel genes.’
    • ‘I simply immerse myself in novel ideas and experiences, and leave it up to my brain to find a solution’
    • ‘They should start now, instead of startling the public with novel ideas on the eve of the next general election.’
    • ‘Critics note that novel genes introduced into GM plants could produce proteins that are toxic, allergenic or carcinogenic.’
    • ‘The novel idea aims to promote healthy eating habits for school children around the country.’
    • ‘On a very practical level, however, what the biochemistry suggests is some entirely novel approaches to treatment.’
    • ‘Four landers will explore for subsurface liquid water using a novel low-frequency sounding method.’
    • ‘Over a period of five months, about 8,000 people were infected by a novel human coronavirus.’
    • ‘Even within the profession itself, " knowledge sharing " remains a somewhat novel concept.’
    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
    View synonyms

Origin

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

Pronunciation

novel

/ˈnɒv(ə)l/