"new, strange, unusual, previously unknown," mid-15c., but little used before 1600, from Old French novel, nouvel "new, young, fresh, recent; additional; early, soon" (Modern French nouveau, fem. nouvelle), from Latin novellus "new, young, recent," diminutive of novus "new" (see new).
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Definitions of art nouveau from WordNet
art nouveau (n.)
a French school of art and architecture popular in the 1890s; characterized by stylized natural forms and sinuous outlines of such objects as leaves and vines and flowers;