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[nov-uh l-tee] /ˈnɒv əl ti/
noun, plural novelties.
state or quality of being novel, new, or unique; newness:
the novelty of a new job.
a novel occurrence, experience, or proceeding:
His sarcastic witticisms had ceased being an entertaining novelty.
an article of trade whose value is chiefly decorative, comic, or the like and whose appeal is often transitory:
a store catering to tourists who loaded up with souvenir pennants and other novelties.
  1. (of a weave) consisting of a combination of basic weaves.
  2. (of a fabric or garment) having a pattern or design produced by a novelty weave.
  3. (of yarn) having irregularities within the fibrous structure.
of or relating to novelties as articles of trade:
novelty goods; novelty items.
having or displaying novelties:
novelty shop.
Origin of novelty
1350-1400; Middle English novelte < Middle French novelete < Late Latin novellitās newness. See novel2, -ity Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for novelty
  • It was the ideal dance for the transistorized age, converting the body itself into a novelty device-a nifty gadget.
  • The past two months have been an adventure, but the novelty is now long gone.
  • It looks like there are too many confounding variables for this to be anything more than a novelty.
  • Understanding how novelty emerges from complex systems is a new frontier.
  • When the novelty wears off, things will normalize.
  • Beyond the novelty of the event, astronomers noted some unusual characteristics.
  • The novelty of this aside, the practical considerations speak for themselves.
  • To many people, though, baseball is not a novelty.
  • It's kind of a novelty.
  • It's very simple, and could easily have become a tacky novelty.
British Dictionary definitions for novelty


noun (pl) -ties
  1. the quality of being new and fresh and interesting
  2. (as modifier): novelty value
a new or unusual experience or occurrence
(often pl) a small usually cheap new toy, ornament, or trinket
Word Origin
C14: from Old French novelté; see novel²
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for novelty

late 14c., "quality of being new," also "a new manner or fashion, an innovation; something new or unusual," from Old French noveleté "newness, innovation, change; news, new fashion" (Modern French nouveauté), from novel "new" (see novel (adj.)). Meaning "newness" is attested from late 14c.; sense of "useless but amusing object" is attested from 1901 (e.g. novelty shop, 1973).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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