• WordNet 3.6
    • n novitiate someone who has entered a religious order but has not taken final vows
    • n novitiate the period during which you are a novice (especially in a religious order)
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Novitiate One who is going through a novitiate, or period of probation; a novice.
    • Novitiate The place where novices live or are trained.
    • Novitiate The state of being a novice; time of initiation or instruction in rudiments.
    • Novitiate The time of probation in a religious house before taking the vows.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • novitiate Inexperienced; unpractised.
    • n novitiate The state or time of being a novice; time of initiation; apprenticeship.
    • n novitiate Specifically The period of probation of a young monk or nun before finally taking the monastic vows. See novice, 2.
    • n novitiate A novice or probationer.
    • n novitiate The house or separate building, in connection with a convent, in which the novices pass their time of probation.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Novitiate the state of being a novice: the period of being a novice: a novice
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
LL. novitiatus,: cf. F. noviciat,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr.,—L. novitiusnovus, new.


In literature:

She was not the only one whose life was thus sacrificed during Clara's novitiate.
"Clara Maynard" by W.H.G. Kingston
This novitiate was now Aileen's.
"Flamsted quarries" by Mary E. Waller
Then her novitiate of sorrows drew to a close and a radiant day of visions dawned on her.
"En Route" by J.-K. (Joris-Karl) Huysmans
The term of a man's novitiate depends upon the state of the waiting list.
"The Complete Bachelor" by Walter Germain
One false step in his political novitiate may cost him everything.
"The Bertrams" by Anthony Trollope
Why would it be less complete if we were led to the altar as soon as we have finished our novitiate and quickly killed?
"Casa Braccio, Volumes 1 and 2 (of 2)" by F. Marion Crawford
The following year found him master of novitiates in Manila convent.
"The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898 - Volume 41 of 55, 1691-1700" by Various
There is no space here to go through the sufferings of the novitiate.
"Essays in English Literature, 1780-1860" by George Saintsbury
For married women in the novitiate period a new prefix would have to be invented, which they would retain if the union were dissolved.
"Modern marriage and how to bear it" by Maud Churton Braby
In my youth I served my novitiate, but I never took the oaths.
"A Monk of Cruta" by E. Phillips Oppenheim

In news:

Lovey Howell's minxish novitiates could one-stop seduce the standard slavish cabana boy with greeting cards from 280: DESIGN.
In 1951, I entered a novitiate of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits).
The Jesuits developed the site in the 1930s for novitiates to study and reflect.