from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A novel whose principal subject is the moral, psychological, and intellectual development of a usually youthful main character.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A novel tracing the spiritual, moral, psychological, or social development and growth of the main character, usually from childhood to maturity.
German : Bildung, formation (from Middle High German bildunge, from Old High German bildunga, from bilidōn, to shape, from bilōdi, form, shape) + Roman, novel (from French, a story in the vernacular, novel; see roman).(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Borrowing from German Bildungsroman, from Bildung, from bildunge, from bildunga, from bilidon ("to shape"), from bilodi ("form, shape"), + Roman ("novel"), from French, roman ("novel"). Hence "novel of education" or "novel of formation". (Wiktionary)