There are 2 definitions of novel in English:


Syllabification: nov·el
Pronunciation: /ˈnävəl


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
More example sentences
  • As mystery fans know, Elizabeth George is an American writer, who writes best-selling mystery novels set in England.
  • When I was fourteen or fifteen I read a trashy romance novel called Perfect by Judith McNaught.
  • They both published bestselling first novels called Less Than Zero before graduating college.
book, paperback, hardcover; story, tale, narrative, romance, roman à clef; piece of fiction; bestseller, blockbuster; potboiler, pulp (fiction)
1.1 (the novel) The literary genre represented or exemplified by novels: the novel is the most adaptable of all literary forms
More example sentences
  • What would happen to a literary form like the novel if it was invisibly hollowed out rather than brilliantly exploded?
  • Naipaul observed some years ago that the novel had become obsolete as a literary form.
  • Has poetry suffered as the novel has risen in popularity and status over the last three centuries?


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 novel2).

Definition of novel in:

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Word of the day envenom
Pronunciation: enˈvenəm
put poison on or into; make poisonous

There are 2 definitions of novel in English:


Syllabification: nov·el
Pronunciation: /


New or unusual in an interesting way: he hit on a novel idea to solve his financial problems
More example sentences
  • Last autumn and winter brought the prospect of a new manager and fresh legs and novel ideas.
  • I simply immerse myself in novel ideas and experiences, and leave it up to my brain to find a solution
  • It is not surprising that Fisher's novel ideas took time to become accepted.


late Middle English (in the sense 'recent'): from Old French, from Latin novellus, from novus 'new'.



More example sentences
  • Despite that resonance, Atwood's precepts, like those of Danish modernism, still had to be generically retooled and updated: hers are very novelly novels, in which monologues and flashbacks dominate.
  • I didn't get into it right away, but the last little while I've been wanting to read a novel and much of what I have around isn't really novelly.

Definition of novel in: