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novel (adj.)

"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).

novel (n.)

"fictitious prose narrative," 1560s, from Italian novella "short story," originally "new story, news," from Latin novella "new things" (source of French novelle, French nouvelle), neuter plural or fem. of novellus "new, young, recent," diminutive of novus "new" (see new). Originally "one of the tales or short stories in a collection" (especially Boccaccio's), later (1630s) "long prose fiction narrative or tale," a type of work which had before that been called a romance.

A novel is like a violin bow; the box which gives off the sounds is the soul of the reader. [Stendhal, "Life of Henri Brulard"]

The word was used earlier in English in the now-obsolete senses "a novelty, something new," and, in plural, "news, tidings" (mid-15c.), both from Old French novelle.

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Definitions of novel from WordNet
1
novel (n.)
an extended fictional work in prose; usually in the form of a story;
novel (n.)
a printed and bound book that is an extended work of fiction;
his bookcases were filled with nothing but novels
he burned all the novels
2
novel (adj.)
original and of a kind not seen before;
the computer produced a completely novel proof of a well-known theorem
Synonyms: fresh / new
novel (adj.)
pleasantly new or different;
Synonyms: refreshing
From wordnet.princeton.edu