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.
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
Novel assignment (Law), a new assignment or specification
of a suit.
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
Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856):
NOVEL ASSIGNMENT. Vide New Assignment.