Main definitions of novel in US 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’
    ‘she was reading a paperback novel’
    • ‘Over the past decade ambitious directors have brought a whole spate of twentieth-century novels to the screen.’
    • ‘Adapted from the original novel by H.G. Wells, the film is co-directed by his great-grandson Simon Wells.’
    • ‘In 1998, my first novel was published.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The plot of the novel concerns a terrorist attack on London and the resulting death of a child and his father.’
    • ‘When I was fourteen or fifteen I read a trashy romance novel called Perfect by Judith McNaught.’
    • ‘Dashiell Hammett's cynical detective novel was published in 1929 and was immediately popular.’
    • ‘Red Dragon is adapted from the Thomas Harris novel of the same name.’
    • ‘Like many American sentimental novels, these Irish-American novels often feature a child as the hero.’
    • ‘For these reasons, Frankenstein has been considered the first science fiction novel.’
    • ‘Q. Do you fancy the challenge of adapting a graphic novel?’
    • ‘Two hundred years later the playwright Christopher Hampton took Laclos's novel and turned it into a play.’
    • ‘The Friendly Tree was the first of three largely autobiographical novels.’
    • ‘Is it comparable then to the greatest novel of the century, Ulysses?’
    • ‘As mystery fans know, Elizabeth George is an American writer, who writes best-selling mystery novels set in England.’
    • ‘He has written the world's first science fiction novel entirely in Scots.’
    • ‘If you were to choose a Janet Frame novel to make into a radio drama, Living in the Maniototo might not be it.’
    • ‘The classic English detective novel marries the two elements.’
    • ‘The book was an instant success and was followed by eight more historical, romantic novels in five years.’
    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’
      • ‘Naipaul observed some years ago that the novel had become obsolete as a literary form.’
      • ‘He lost interest in the novel and novel writing itself for six or so months.’
      • ‘Has poetry suffered as the novel has risen in popularity and status over the last three centuries?’
      • ‘What would happen to a literary form like the novel if it was invisibly hollowed out rather than brilliantly exploded?’
      • ‘How long would it take to key in this exemplar of the disintegration of the cultural form of the novel?’
      • ‘He really did believe that poetry could handle everything the novel could handle.’

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

/ˈnɑvəl//ˈnävəl/

Main definitions of novel in US English:

: novel1novel2

novel2

adjective

  • New or unusual in an interesting way.

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

/ˈnɑvəl//ˈnävəl/