nov·el1 / ˈnävəl/ • n. a fictitious prose narrative of book length, typically representing character and action with some degree of realism: the novels of Jane Austen. ∎ a book containing such a narrative: she was reading a paperback novel. ∎ (the novel) the literary genre represented or exemplified by such works: the novel is the most adaptable of all literary forms.ORIGIN: mid 16th cent.: 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 cent. in the sense ‘a novelty, a piece of news,’ from Old French novelle (see novel2 ).nov·el2 • adj. new or unusual in an interesting way: he hit on a novel idea to solve his financial problems.DERIVATIVES: nov·el·ly adv.
A. †novelty; †pl. news XV;
B. short story of Boccaccio's ‘Decameron’, etc. XVI; fictitious prose narrative XVII. In A — OF. novelle (mod. nouvelle):- L. novella, n. pl. (construed as sing.) of novellus young, new, f. novus NEW; in B — It. novella, orig. fem. (sc. storia story) of novello new = OF. novel (mod. nouveau), whence novel adj. XV.
Hence novelist †innovator XVI; †newsmonger; writer of novels XVIII. novelty XIV. — OF. novelte (mod. nouveauté).