graphic novel

noun
a novel in the form of comic strips.

Origin:
1985–90

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
graphic novel
 
n
a novel in the form of a comic strip

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

graphic novel

Long a fixture on the fringes of American popular culture, the graphic novel seemed poised to enter the literary mainstream once again in 2004. The year saw the film adaptation of Harvey Pekar's American Splendor nominated for an Academy Award, the final issues of both Dave Sim's 6,000-page magnum opus Cerebus and Jeff Smith's influential Bone, and the long-awaited debut of Alan Moore's Lost Girls. With collected volumes of Sandman by Neil Gaiman (see Biographies) and Japanese manga titles becoming a common sight on public library shelves and film versions of landmark books such as Sin City, Watchmen, and Batman: Year One in production, the graphic novel had reached levels of respectability and marketability that transcended the disparaging label "comic book."

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Also, a few web comics have proved popular enough to be reprinted as print
  collections in comic book or graphic novel format.
The graphic novel stands alone but will likely resonate more with those who
  follow the web series.
The graphic novel is a good action-packed private detective story all on its
  own.
Using graphic novel storytelling or comics is a fantastic way of teaching
  students some of the fundamentals about writing.
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