Definition of novice in English:



  • 1A person new to and inexperienced in a job or situation.

    ‘he was a complete novice in foreign affairs’
    • ‘Louise, a fellow novice, and I are in excited anticipation.’
    • ‘He ended up losing to Michael Burgess, a medical doctor and political novice.’
    • ‘This annual sporting event takes place on Sunday, May 1 when keen runners and complete novices get together for a five-mile race, a one-mile adult run and a one-mile children's event.’
    • ‘For novice users and people with cognitive difficulties, navigation must be intuitive and logical.’
    • ‘Yes, sowing is fiddly, to a degree that can terrify novice gardeners.’
    • ‘The suggestions that follow below offer basic searching suggestions for Internet novices.’
    • ‘Persistent weeds are a common problem for both the novice gardener and the professional farmer.’
    • ‘I don't see why it shouldn't become as popular as snowboarding - it attracts skiers, skaters and complete novices.’
    • ‘In fact, it can help even novices refine a search.’
    • ‘None of us had been skating in ages, and one was a complete novice.’
    • ‘The book will probably be more attractive to Durkheim specialists and graduate students than to novices in the field.’
    • ‘The system used is not particularly user friendly for novices or inexperienced staff: this could be improved with more modern software facilities.’
    • ‘Now 68, he's taught more than 4,000 students, from novice to expert.’
    • ‘Success also came for Phil Stanley who won the novice sculls in confident style.’
    • ‘A political novice, Simpson all but wiped out Trimble's personal majority of 15,000 votes.’
    • ‘The document format provided to him was sufficient to accommodate even a novice computer user.’
    • ‘While the LSO no longer directs the pilot down, he is constantly giving advice if required and can be a calming voice for the inexperienced novice.’
    • ‘The beginning of Serious Poker is aimed at relative novices.’
    • ‘If you are a complete novice I wouldn't worry about spending much time here.’
    • ‘Professional photographers Jan Checker and Sally Vigilante were on hand to teach the photography novices some useful skills.’
    beginner, learner, inexperienced person, neophyte, newcomer, new member, new recruit, raw recruit, new boy, new girl, initiate, tyro, fledgling
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    1. 1.1An animal, especially a racehorse, that has not yet won a major prize or reached a sufficient level of performance to qualify for important events.
      ‘last season as a novice he won three races’
      [as modifier] ‘the novice hurdles’
      • ‘I may not have been a winner but at least I had completed the novice hurdle.’
      • ‘Cornish Rebel made a successful start to his chasing career with victory in a novice chase at Lingfield.’
      • ‘And there was some consolation for the connections of Limestone Lad when Solerina won the novice hurdle.’
      • ‘But that was before the Queen's horse, Shining Strand, won a novice hurdle race at Wetherby.’
      • ‘Captain Christy, ridden by Bobby Beasley, remains the last novice to have won chasing's blue riband event.’
      • ‘Culloty sustained the injury when falling from Only Vintage at the fourth flight in a novices' hurdle at the same course on Tuesday.’
      • ‘Today's Royal Bond Hurdle will go a long way towards sorting out the pecking order of the Cheltenham-bound novices and two further pieces in the jigsaw should be provided at Navan next month.’
      • ‘Apparently the horse jumped particularly well and his trainer expects him to make a big impression in novice chases.’
      • ‘The gelding's new trainer may try to capitalise on Captain Corelli's novice hurdle status before reverting to chases.’
      • ‘A useful novice chaser two seasons ago, the Ferdy Murphy-trained gelding showed all of his old sparkle as he took the spoils.’
      • ‘Lord Sam, one of last season's top novices, made several jumping errors before finally dumping jockey Jim Culloty at a fence on the back straight.’
      • ‘Watch for an Irish outsider in the supreme novice hurdle and an Irish winner of the Coral Cup.’
      • ‘Only seven, he was one of the better novice chasers last season but there is hopefully a lot more improvement to come.’
      • ‘There is nothing to stop novices running in normal hurdles or chases.’
      • ‘He only went down by half a length in a seven-furlong novice event and may well have won had he known more about the racing game.’
      • ‘He ended last season by winning the Scottish Champion Hurdle, then injured himself in his first novice chase.’
      • ‘He was a decent novice hurdler, who took to fences really well, initially.’
      • ‘Karanja has what it takes to make a high-class novice over hurdles this season and, with Andrew Thornton in the saddle, he can begin this new phase of his career on a high note.’
      • ‘It was only fitting that there should be a female winner on Ladies Day and trainer Venetia Williams obliged when Limerick Boy won the novices' hurdle handicap.’
  • 2A person who has entered a religious order and is under probation, before taking vows.

    • ‘Is there a potential that there will be some novice monks among them?’
    • ‘The deportment of Buddhist monks and novices is governed by many exacting rules, and phenomenological accounts of this celibate, contemplative way of life are available in a number of texts.’
    • ‘His dilemma is crystallised by his " irregular fondness " for two fellow novices.’
    • ‘Similarly, a young novice entered St. Martin's cell and was puzzled not to find him there.’
    • ‘One confessor ordered Veronica Giuliani to kneel while a novice of the order kicked her in the mouth.’
    • ‘Both were described in the future tense since both took place in the context of the Eucharist, of which the novice had no direct experience.’
    • ‘He joined the monastic order as a novice, and studied the Hua-yen ching with Chih-yen.’
    • ‘Galileo had a mixed education, starting at a monastery school in Vallombrosa where he entered the order as a novice, against the wishes of his father.’
    • ‘How many monks and nuns, or novices, would you say?’
    • ‘The area under claim amounted to a sacred precinct as most of the acreage was associated with initiation rites, the storage of sacred objects, and the activities of religious tutors and novices.’
    • ‘Whether novice monks will result from that I don't really know.’
    • ‘Maana's wife went to the temple to give alms daily, serving breakfasts and lunches to her son, other novices and monks, until her son was disrobed.’
    • ‘Still very active at sixty years old, she was sent to the motherhouse to oversee the novices ' manual work.’
    • ‘The opening programme has a brief section in which the novices question a monk on celibacy but, at the risk of the sin of prurience, I wanted to know more about the dynamics of living in a community of men.’
    • ‘He was an officer in the Irish Guards before becoming a novice monk in the Benedictine Order in 1955.’
    • ‘In ten short years, several historic monasteries and convents have been restored to the Orthodox church and have welcomed hundreds of young novices.’
    • ‘These words from Jeremiah were engraved on a plaque on our dormitory wall when I was a novice with Mother Teresa in Calcutta.’
    • ‘At present an average 220 monks and novices live within the temple compound.’
    • ‘So there are hundreds or even thousands of postulants, novices, seminarians, active priests, and retired priests who live, work, or hang out at American seminaries.’
    • ‘A friend who is a novice in an Episcopal religious order recently told me that she has no taste now for books of contemporary spirituality.’
    novitiate, postulant, proselyte, catechumen, neophyte
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Middle English: from Old French, from late Latin novicius, from novus new.