AskDefine | Define novelty

Dictionary Definition



1 originality by virtue of being refreshingly novel [syn: freshness]
2 originality by virtue of being new and surprising [syn: freshness]
3 a small inexpensive mass-produced article [syn: knickknack]
4 cheap showy jewelry or ornament on clothing [syn: bangle, bauble, gaud, gewgaw, fallal, trinket]

User Contributed Dictionary



From adjective novel, from Latin adjective novus, new.



  1. the state of being new or novel; newness
  2. a new product; an innovation
    • 1748. David Hume. Enquiries concerning the human understanding and concerning the principles of moral. London: Oxford University Press, 1973. § 10.
      reconciling profound enquiry with clearness, and truth with novelty.
  3. a small mass-produced trinket
  4. in novelty theory, newness, density of complexification, and dynamic change as opposed to static habituation


the state of being new
a new product
  • French: nouveauté
  • German: Neuheit
  • Portuguese: novidade
  • Spanish: novedad

Derived terms

Extensive Definition

Novelty is the quality of being new. Although it may be said to have an objective dimension (e.g. a new style of art coming into being, such as abstract art or impressionism) it essentially exists in the subjective perceptions of individuals. It also refers to something novel; that which is striking, original or unusual.
Novelty can refer to:
  • Novelties, small manufactured adornments; similarly novelty item, a toy or collectible
  • Novelty (locomotive), one of the first steam locomotives which was due to compete at the Rainhill Trials of 1829
  • Novelty (patent), part of the legal test to determine whether an invention is patentable
  • Novelty, Missouri, a place in the United States
  • Novelty dance, a type of dance that is popular for being unusual or humorous
  • Novelty song, a musical item that capitalizes on something new, unusual, or a current fad
  • Novelty show, a competition or display in which exhibits or specimens are in way some novel
  • Novelty architecture, a building or other structure that is interesting because it has an amusing design
  • Novelty effect, the tendency for performance to initially improve when new technology is instituted
  • Novelty theory, an eschatological theory promoted by Terence McKenna
  • Novelty, a chess term for a move in chess which has never been played before in a recorded game
  • Novelty (album) by Jawbox
  • The Novelty, a piano-rock band from Poughkeepsie, NY.
Novelty is also an often used name for Russell Township in Ohio.

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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