Definition of novitiate in English:


(also noviciate)


  • 1The period or state of being a novice, especially in a religious order.

    • ‘This ceremony also signaled the beginning of her novitiate - a year-long ‘trial’ period in which she lived among the convent community, observing its rules and strictures.’
    • ‘Her movement from the Roman Catholicism of childhood, through a brief novitiate, and on to Quaker and then Buddhist practice is not a rarity in these days of picking at the religious buffet of the twenty-first century.’
    • ‘Even in the golden days of my novitiate, such places were few and far between.’
    • ‘His taste for images dated from his novitiate and is marked by a sensibility comparable to that of the nuns he later governed.’
    • ‘Conscience prevailing, he was received at Douai, then sent from Rome by the Jesuits to Bohemia to serve his novitiate, before being reordained in Prague.’
    • ‘In September 1969 he joined the SVD in Donamon where he did his novitiate.’
    • ‘During the year of her novitiate it was supposed to give the convent 100 ducados as a maintenance allowance.’
    • ‘The demands made upon Martin in the novitiate in his difficult work with the dying - and the hard-won joy it brings - lead to a further thought.’
    • ‘Martin confesses that he cried from anxiety his first night in the novitiate and that, as part of his formation, cutting smelly, overgrown toenails in Jamaica sickened him.’
    • ‘David Jansen calls for new monastic communities to provide intentional spiritual formation, similar to the traditional novitiate.’
    • ‘Before starting her novitiate in October 1933, Edith spoke with the prioress, who felt there was so much she still could do outside the convent.’
    • ‘Do not get discouraged if in the early stages of your novitiate you cannot successfully translate these basic principles into practice.’
    • ‘There he attended a preparatory school for the novitiate.’
    • ‘He studied with Fr John in his novitiate and then assisted him with the establishment of the first Christian Meditation Centre in London in 1975 which was the origin of The World Community for Christian Meditation.’
    • ‘The convent countered that those sums had been for the year of her novitiate, but that her formal profession involved a new set of expenses.’
    • ‘He became a Trappist, sent to make a novitiate near Syria.’
    • ‘The Cistercians, who established the new pattern, prohibited entry for anyone under the age of 16 and insisted upon a year's noviciate.’
    • ‘In less than two months, the first Bloody Sword recruits would have completed their novitiates and be eligible to swear Sword Oath, and Hurthang wasn't the only Horse Stealer who worried about what would happen then.’
    • ‘Similarly, in the thirteenth century, the peripatetic general chapter of the Franciscan Order regulated matters as central to the life of the local priories as the form and content of the novitiate and where it should be spent.’
    • ‘She began her novitiate in India and took the name of Teresa, taking her final vows in 1939.’
    probationary period, probation, trial period, test period, apprenticeship, training period, traineeship, training, initiation
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    1. 1.1 A novice, especially in a religious order.
      • ‘Angelo thus becomes a white-suited district officer who condemns the Eurasian Claudio for fornication while lusting after his novitiate sister, Isabella.’
      • ‘She suddenly longed to down the rest, but she resisted the urge and withdrew to a position with other novitiates whose glowing smiles echoed the elation swelling within her own breast.’
      • ‘Once the ceremony was over, the novitiates, priestesses and nuns gathered together in the great hall beneath the statue of Auset for a feast.’
      • ‘His sister, Isabella, a cloistered novitiate, petitions Angelo for mercy.’
      • ‘At his investiture, the novitiate describes being reduced to a skeleton by spirits who devour and then restore his flesh.’
      • ‘There are teachers, nuns, novitiates, school children, street vendors and even tourists.’
      • ‘The partial nature of such accounts of the research process can leave the novitiate insufficiently prepared for the actual experience of ‘doing’ research, which can come as something of a shock.’
      • ‘While other novitiates were humbly perfecting the simple front kick, I would be leaping into the air and spinning like a Bruce Lee wannabe.’
      • ‘Now Wats are inhabited by monks, teachers, nuns, novitiates, school children, street-side sellers and tourists.’
      • ‘This rice is currently being tested by novitiates at a convent in the Philippines to see how well the nutrients are absorbed in the human body.’
      • ‘Tom Goldstein, dean of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where impressionable novitiates are prepared for the high calling of the Fourth Estate, avowed that Wright was just ‘a corporate citizen’ doing his job.’
      • ‘In order to instill the necessary discipline in a novitiate, all emotion must be eradicated from the master's side of the equation.’
      • ‘She enters from the left, posed as if she were a novitiate approaching the altar, her movements guided by her ‘double’ to her left.’
      • ‘There are stern mother superiors, innocent novitiates, jolly sisters.’
      • ‘He and other engineers huddled over the gun like nuns inspecting a novitiate, but they could find no flaw.’
      • ‘This was the era of the sleep sessions, the trance-like states Breton and Philippe Soupault encouraged novitiates to enter into, through which they would speak and write ‘automatically.’’
      • ‘After a year as a novitiate in De Soto, Missouri, he proceeded to the major seminary of the Redemptorist Fathers in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin.’
      • ‘One of the reasons coven novitiates must wait a year and a day before a formal initiation is to allow the novitiate time to experience the mysteries of the Craft; a personal understanding of Pagan symbolism in the proper context.’
      • ‘That the Sikh novitiates include a sizable number of Muslims is shown by inclusion in this clause of the taboos as to the sanctity of graves, shirni, etc.’
      • ‘Our heroine followed, entering the convent herself as a novitiate.’
      novice, neophyte
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    2. 1.2 A place housing religious novices.
      • ‘In 1909 he entered the novitiate of the Jesuits in Freiburg but left after only two weeks, ostensibly on health grounds.’
      • ‘Well today there wouldn't be 50 people entering novitiates or convents or monasteries probably around Australia I think.’
      • ‘He died of heart failure on Easter, April 11, 1955, and was interred in the cemetery of the Jesuit novitiate on the Hudson River, north of New York City.’
      • ‘In 1930 the estate was taken over by the Jesuit order, which used it as a novitiate.’
      • ‘She entered the novitiate soon after her baptism and pronounced her final vows on September 19, 1699.’
      • ‘At the age of 15 he entered the noviciate of the Capuchin Friars in Morcone, where on January 22, 1903 he adopted the clothing of Saint Francis and was called Padre Pio.’
      • ‘The rigours of our war-time noviciate posed no problems for him and he made his religious profession in 1942.’
      • ‘The building is a fine example of a Victorian venerable property, built in 1881 as a novitiate for the Sisters of Charity.’
      • ‘There Was an Ancient House presents a disillusioned view of life in a Jesuit novitiate.’
      • ‘The project commenced in 1995, when the Franciscan Order decided to donate their noviciate in Killarney to be developed for the benefit of young people in the area.’
      • ‘When a group of nuns came through Sligo looking for a place to build a convent novitiate and school for girls, great grandfather gave them several acres of his little farm.’
      • ‘Born and raised in a farming family at Kyledellig, he went to school in Aghaboe and from there to Tullow, Co. Carlow, where he entered the novitiate in 1942.’
      • ‘The proliferation of vocations requires the building of novitiates, seminaries and monasteries.’
      • ‘The rush became a flood after the fiasco of Humanae Vitae in 1968 and seminaries, novitiates and training colleges fell like ninepins as many, if not most, priests, brothers and nuns chose lay life at a rate not seen since the Reformation.’
      • ‘Unfortunately, there is little longitudinal research concerning psychosocial changes occurring after entrance into seminaries or novitiates.’
      • ‘Fresh from the novitiate she spent some early years caring for the boarders in Belmullet.’
      • ‘After serving in Detroit for twenty-one years, seventy-four-year-old Solanus was sent to New York, then to the novitiate in Indiana.’
      • ‘He entered the novitiate of the Capuchin Friars at the age of 15.’
      • ‘In such a beautiful and spiritual atmosphere I spent nine of those noontime years - three in the minor seminary, one in the novitiate, four in the major seminary and one in the infirmary when I was stricken with a severe bout of tuberculosis.’


Early 17th century: from ecclesiastical Latin noviciatus, from Latin novicius ‘new’ (see novice).