Novel Nov"el, a. [OF. novel, nuvel, F. nouvel, nouveau, L. novellus, dim. of novus new. See New.] Of recent origin or introduction; not ancient; new; hence, out of the ordinary course; unusual; strange; surprising. Note: In civil law, the novel or new constitutions are those which are supplemental to the code, and posterior in time to the other books. These contained new decrees of successive emperors. Novel assignment (Law), a new assignment or specification of a suit. Syn: New; recent; modern; fresh; strange; uncommon; rare; unusual. Usage: Novel, New . Everything at its first occurrence is new; that is novel which is so much out of the ordinary course as to strike us with surprise. That is a new sight which is beheld for the first time; that is a novel sight which either was never seen before or is seen but seldom. We have daily new inventions, but a novel one supposes some very peculiar means of attaining its end. Novel theories are regarded with distrust, as likely to prove more ingenious than sound., Novel Nov"el, n. [F. nouvelle. See Novel, a.] 1. That which is new or unusual; a novelty. 2. pl. News; fresh tidings. [Obs.] Some came of curiosity to hear some novels. --Latimer. 3. A fictitious tale or narrative, professing to be conformed to real life; esp., one intended to exhibit the operation of the passions, and particularly of love. --Dryden. 4. [L. novellae (sc. constitutiones): cf. F. novelles.] (Law) A new or supplemental constitution. See the Note under Novel, a.