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or Bil·dungs·ro·man  (bĭl′do͝ongz-rō-män′, -do͝ongks-)
A novel whose principal subject is the moral, psychological, and intellectual development of a usually youthful main character.

[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, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(Literary & Literary Critical Terms) a novel concerned with a person's formative years and development
[literally: education novel]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈbɪl dʊŋz roʊˌmɑn, -dʊŋks-)

a novel dealing with the maturation of its protagonist.
[1905–10; < German]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


A German word meaning education novel, used to mean a novel about a person’s formative experiences.
Dictionary of Unfamiliar Words by Diagram Group Copyright © 2008 by Diagram Visual Information Limited
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References in periodicals archive ?
Lukacs on the roots of the nineteenth century Bildungsroman in a
Damascus House is a knockout as a late-blooming bildungsroman, which follows one young woman's desire to return to an innocence she's never known, and to find a sober mind and a genuine faith that she can call her own.
The author describes the role of the polit, a socially marginal character the world acts upon, and a variation on the Spanish picaro, as the quintessential protagonist in Jewish modernist literature, as well as its relationship to the picaresque and the Bildungsroman. She focuses on three types of the polit figure: the mobile modern subject, the demobilized soldier, and the new Soviet citizen, discussing narratives of mobility in terms of geography and social mobility in works by Sholem Aleichem and Issac Bashevis Singer; demobilization as a trope for post-Haskalah Jewish existence in I.J.
Growing Up in an Inhospitable World: Female Bildungsroman in Spain.
It was evident that the Bildungsroman developed as a genre in the air of German idealism and in relation to the same philosophical concerns that informed the Humboldtian university.
Some of these new African narratives--especially the debut novels--often exhibit traits associated with the Bildungsroman, a form which evolved from Germany and became popular in most Western countries in the nineteenth century.
Ecocriticism and the Idea of Culture: Biology and the Bildungsroman. Helena Feder (Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2014) viii + 179pp.
The Bildungsroman remains one of the most remarkable contributions that German cultural arts have made to the ever growing vocabulary of international literary studies.
A painful, tender, very funny bildungsroman void of sentimentality, Bronsky's book captures contemporary European adolescence in one delicious swoop.
John Kinsella, Morpheus: A Bildungsroman, BlazeVOX Books, 2013.
The familiar ethnic Bildungsroman takes on a satisfying twist in Carrianne Leung's debut novel, The Wondrous Woo.