From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Novel \Nov"el\, n. [F. nouvelle. See Novel, a.]
   1. That which is new or unusual; a novelty.
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   2. pl. News; fresh tidings. [Obs.]
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            Some came of curiosity to hear some novels.
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   3. A fictitious tale or narrative, longer than a short story,
      having some degree of complexity and development of
      characters; it is usually organized as a time sequence of
      events, and is commonly intended to exhibit the operation
      of the passions, and often of love. --Dryden.
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   4. [L. novellae (sc. constitutiones): cf. F. novelles.] (Law)
      A new or supplemental constitution. See the Note under
      Novel, a.
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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

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.
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   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.
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   Novel assignment (Law), a new assignment or specification
      of a suit.
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   Syn: New; recent; modern; fresh; strange; uncommon; rare;

   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
          [1913 Webster]
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