Definition of novelty in English:



  • 1[mass noun] The quality of being new, original, or unusual.

    ‘the novelty of being a married woman wore off’
    • ‘In the current rush for novelty and innovation, an artist such as Arikha is easily bypassed as old-fashioned or backward-looking, an anomaly.’
    • ‘But opinion is often shaped by a modern preference for novelty.’
    • ‘But creativity means appearance of novelty, which by definition exists outside the confines of a deterministic universe.’
    • ‘Tom said he started bringing a book to work to pass the time after the initial novelty wore off.’
    • ‘After the initial novelty wears off, the bonus rounds become quite predictable.’
    • ‘Like Chris, they enjoy the novelty of having a hobby that is not mainstream.’
    • ‘History shows that my novelty value tends to wear off within about two minutes.’
    • ‘Regardless, the VP was certainly excited by the sheer novelty of the experience.’
    • ‘With some annual vines, the appeal is sheer novelty.’
    • ‘Distributing 7,500 garbage pails around Central Park with a teddy bear atop each might be as creative, if creativity is measured by novelty.’
    • ‘They mistook novelty for originality, creativity, and competence.’
    • ‘Here is a brief quote from a much larger section of the book concerned with novelty and different paradigms of information-presentation.’
    • ‘The cool temperatures and dampness of the cave doomed it to failure though and the novelty eventually wore off.’
    • ‘That's one reason we like novelty, including different cuts of jeans.’
    • ‘They seemed to enjoy the novelty of not having lots of things to do.’
    • ‘Beyond its chronological breadth and the relative novelty of its subject, this book has much to recommend it.’
    • ‘The novelty of the quality improvement approach was welcomed by patients and staff as a way to change the system.’
    • ‘It was he who coined the term ‘the Condition of England’ and it was he who pressed the English to come to terms with the modern urbanized and industrialized novelty of their condition.’
    • ‘Perhaps many people are seduced by the sheer novelty or comedy of my appearance.’
    • ‘The first is about the degree of novelty and difference represented by the current order, and is preoccupied by assessments of the elements of continuity and discontinuity within it.’
    originality, newness, freshness, unconventionality, unfamiliarity, unusualness, difference, imaginativeness, creativity, creativeness, innovativeness, innovation, modernity, modernness, break with tradition
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    1. 1.1[count noun]A new or unfamiliar thing or experience.
      ‘in 1914 air travel was still a novelty’
      • ‘One of the most fundamental problems in modern evolutionary biology is the origin of morphological novelty.’
      • ‘Failure of feeling is accompanied by a desire for ever more violent sensations, like those really bad love affairs; frequent novelties, spectator tragedies of the kind that TV and the media adore.’
      • ‘I think the yellow hair and blue eyes were a real novelty for them.’
      • ‘Spanish football is experiencing a novelty: the successful export of some of its better footballers.’
      • ‘Always veering towards the conservative and traditional, they dislike novelties, experimentation or quirky fads.’
      • ‘The revised chapter on morphological novelties is superb.’
      • ‘Yet this area is crucial, as all evolutionary novelties ultimately arise from intraspecific variation.’
      • ‘Heterochrony is often cited as a pathway for the appearance of evolutionary novelties.’
      • ‘After ten years, she was still widely, if eccentrically, regarded as a fascinating novelty; a breath of fresh air.’
      • ‘And he did it consistently, not on a whim as a novelty or diversion.’
      • ‘The novelties introduced by these elections were many, interesting, and ripe with consequences.’
      • ‘This important knowledge will help to protect us against subtle heresy and fashionable novelties.’
      • ‘The Jerusalem artichoke at first had an enthusiastic reception in Europe, where its curious, sweet taste was a novelty.’
      • ‘When students make the transition from one school to the next, they experience the usual novelties associated with any advancement to the next grade, such as a more challenging curriculum.’
      • ‘"It's fun, " said one participant in a recent seminar to introduce the latest novelty.’
      • ‘Casual sexual experiences are not a novelty for either of them (they have both had sex with other partners in the toilets of a particular pub, for example).’
      • ‘The pectoral girdle and forelimb also reveal suites of hierarchically nested morphological novelties supporting the theropod origin of birds.’
      • ‘My companion had never eaten sushi before and found the whole experience a novelty.’
      • ‘A person's inherent need for sensation is not necessarily obvious in the early stages of a relationship, when love itself is a novelty and carries its own thrills.’
      • ‘Intel servers are a relative novelty at IBM, which until the late 1990s favoured its higher-end server families.’
    2. 1.2[as modifier]Denoting an object intended to be amusing as a result of its unusual design.
      ‘a novelty teapot’
      • ‘Amazingly, the novelty record is outselling the rest of the singles chart twice over, and has sold three times as many copies as Coldplay - according to mid-week sales figures.’
      • ‘She designed a novelty cake using a scene from the Lord of the Rings film based on the novel of the same name by J.R. Tolkien for inspiration.’
      • ‘He's either an amusing novelty act or just plain annoying.’
      • ‘And it's certainly worth a listen, as most novelty songs are.’
      • ‘You are probably one of those students who uses novelty fonts in your designs because they look ‘cool.’’
      • ‘The winner of the novelty cake was Michelle Flatley, Moyview.’
      • ‘While the only thing it's actually revolutionized so far is the novelty items industry, it does deserve some credit as an impressive work of technology.’
      • ‘This year, he's already signed on to design a sports beverage novelty product called Baby Bailers, which is being manufactured in Hong Kong.’
      • ‘Both reports had treated the group and the response of its fans as a mildly amusing novelty item.’
      • ‘Did you feel embarrassed eating an ice cream novelty shaped like a cartoon character?’
      • ‘The fact is that frozen novelties are indeed hot and getting hotter by the minute.’
      • ‘I do, however, need to get rid of it pretty sharpish otherwise things could get rather messy: I seem to collect mortgages like some people collect novelty teapots.’
      • ‘The shift is designed to improve margins on the company's novelty products.’
      • ‘Too much Affordably Good Design made me want to go straight to a novelty shop in Devizes to buy a toby jug of a grinning trawlerman's head sporting a yellow sou'wester.’
      • ‘Dustbin bags: you'll need loads, for all the empty bottles, and the cooking and gift detritus - and to dump the novelty rubber gloves trimmed with maribou and fake gemstones.’
      • ‘Firefighters are warning of the dangers of children mistaking novelty lighters for toys.’
      • ‘His Uncle Milton Ant Farm rocked the novelty world when it was launched in 1956, and since then more than 20 million units have sold.’
      • ‘A plate rack held a variety of novelty teapots and a selection of mobiles occupied one corner of the room.’
      • ‘Included are figure dancing, solo dancing, recitations, music and novelty acts.’
      • ‘The company has had particular success with its innovative frozen novelties.’
  • 2A small and inexpensive toy or ornament.

    ‘he bought chocolate novelties to decorate the Christmas tree’
    • ‘They sent 15 samples of toys, decorations and novelties to Worcester Scientific Services for testing.’
    • ‘You can shop for novelties such as silver ornaments and local garments, while forgetting the madness of crowded department stores on Shanghai's Huaihai Lu.’
    • ‘It had what looked like several antique ornaments and novelties on display.’
    • ‘Besides a Frisbee, the novelties they offered her included plastic rings, a shoe, a bucket, and a tin can.’
    • ‘Cheap, mass-produced plastic trinkets and novelties are the only treasures available to the vast numbers of the world's population.’
    • ‘Graham came up the stairs to find me going all gooey over a bookshop novelty from America, containing a small garden gnome, a patch of artificial grass and a stand depicting a cottage garden.’
    • ‘Will they come back again, or were they just buying a novelty item?’
    • ‘They weren't even on the seasonal novelty aisle.’
    • ‘The other three items were also children's novelty toys.’
    • ‘Ebay started in business by helping enthusiasts to swap novelty toys.’
    knick-knack, trinket, bauble, toy, trifle, gewgaw, gimcrack, ornament, curiosity
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Late Middle English: from Old French novelte, from novel new, fresh (see novel).