Definition of novation in US English:



  • The substitution of a new contract in place of an old one.

    • ‘The novation of the Research Agreement occurred because both Dr Leahy and Cyprotex acted on and after 21 March 2001 when Cyprotex Ltd was incorporated as if Cyprotex Ltd was the contracting party with Sheffield.’
    • ‘We agree that self-evidently New India was not an original party and there is no basis upon which it could be held that there was any novation or transfer to New India of the rights and obligations of the insured under the Club Rules.’
    • ‘However, we consider that there can have been a partial change of the parties by novation, if the language of the revised contract achieves that effect.’
    • ‘In fact it is possible for the parties to provide for novation in advance and establish a contractual mechanism by which novation takes place automatically on the happening of a specified act or event.’
    • ‘The trial judge found that novation could not stand - he disregarded it.’


Early 16th century: from late Latin novatio(n-), from the verb novare ‘make new’.