Definition of Bildungsroman in English:


Syllabification: Bil·dungs·ro·man
Pronunciation: /ˈbildo͝oNGzrōˌmän, ˈbēldo͝oNGks-


A novel dealing with one person’s formative years or spiritual education.
More example sentences
  • Hughbury Shamp, a teenager with a yen for fame - note: all three novels are Bildungsromane - follows three masters whom he introduces at the beginning of his first-person account, an echo of Marcus Aurelius starting his meditations.
  • The tendency of novel theory to define the novel as a genre that is sui generis does lead to certain impasses and quandaries, whether in the theory of the novel as such or of a subgenre like the Bildungsroman.
  • E. L. Doctorow's Billy Bathgate is a Bildungsroman which shares many central characteristics with Updike's novel and Roth's.


German, from Bildung 'education' + Roman 'a novel'.

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Word of the day retroflex
Pronunciation: ˈretrəˌfleks
turned backward