mid-14c., "probationer in a religious order," from Old French novice "beginner" (12c.), from Medieval Latin novicius, noun use of Latin novicius "newly imported, newly arrived, inexperienced" (of slaves), from novus "new" (see new). Meaning "inexperienced person, one new to his circumstances" is attested from early 15c. As an adjective, "having the character of a beginner; befitting a novice," from 1520s.
updated on July 15, 2019