Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A person new to a field or activity; a beginner.
  • n. A person who has entered a religious order but has not yet taken final vows. Also called novitiate.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One who is new in any business, profession, or calling; one unacquainted or unskilled; one yet in the rudiments; a beginner; a tyro.
  • n. One newly received into the church, or one newly converted to the Christian faith.
  • n. One who enters a religious house, whether of monks or nuns, as a probationist.
  • adj. Like a novice; becoming a novice.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. One who is new to the circumstances in which he or she is placed; a beginner in anything; an inexperienced or untried person.
  • n. Specifically A monk or nun who has newly entered one of the orders, and is still in a state of probation, subject to the superior of the convent and the discipline of the house, but bound by no permanent monastic vows; a probationer. The term of probation differs in different religious communities, but is regularly at least one year.
  • Having the character of a beginner, or one new to the practice of anything; inexperienced; also, characteristic of or befitting a novice.
  • n. In bench shows and other similar exhibitions, an animal which has not before been exhibited for a prize.
  • n. In athletics, one who has not won a prize, when the competition is open to members of two or more clubs.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. someone new to a field or activity
  • n. someone who has entered a religious order but has not taken final vows

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French, from Medieval Latin novīcius, from Latin, recently entered into a condition, from Latin novus, new; see newo- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Anglo-Norman novice, Middle French novice, from Latin novīcius, later novitius ("new, newly arrived") (in Late Latin as a noun, novicius, masculine, novicia ("feminine, one who has newly entered a monastery or a convent")), from novus ("new"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The political novice is giving up his day job at Saint Giuseppe's Heavenly Pizza to come to Washington.

    With turnover, House becomes more of a home for the everyman

  • In the late 1930s and 1940s, Dorothy Snell, as she was then known, competed and won medals at the national level in novice, junior and senior competitions.

    Dorothy S. Curtis; Capitol Hill aide, skater

  • Danny makes a good point IMO that the first piece of advice to a novice is to first focus on the user experience, and not on advanced SEO tactics.

    Rand v Whalen: Focus on Engines or Users? | Managing Greatness

  • I have PM'd jslay, who as a novice is being cagey about her location, her e mail, and other elements of her profile, notifying her of my son's family in San Antonio, TX who would be happy to have her help in exchange for a room and a REASONABLE LIVING WAGE.

    Maid for cooking and cleaning in exchange for a room

  • The novice is encouraged to engage in an activity slightly beyond his/her level of mastery and comfort.

    April 2008

  • The word novice, which among the Romans meant a newly acquired slave, and which is now used to denote an inexperienced person, is the canonical Latin name of those who, having been regularly admitted into a religious order and ordinarily already confirmed in their higher vocation by a certain period of probation as postulants, are prepared by a series of exercises and tests for the religious profession.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 11: New Mexico-Philip

  • When short-term novice speculators figure out that they've been taken for fools and that there aren't any more dupes left to bail them out at higher prices, the selling will coming quickly and relentlessly.

  • To game has, unfortunately, always its attractions; to game with a perfect novice is not what will render it less alluring; and to see that novice rich and beautiful is still less likely to be repelling.

    Camilla: or, A Picture of Youth

  • Normally you install WordPress on your own webhost, but that can be a bit of a hassle and isn’t something a novice is going to want to mess with.

    Blogging!

  • I'm still what you would call a novice with much to learn but I learn something new with every baking adventure I endure!

    ABOUT ME

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