NOVICE (through French from Lat. nomcitis or novilius, one who has newly arrived, novus, new), a person who joins a religious order on probation. He or she is subject to the authority of the superior, wears the dress of the order, and obeys the rules. At the end of the " novitiate," which must last at least one year, the novice is free to leave without taking the vows, and the order is free to refuse to allow him or her to take them. The word was early used of a beginner in any art or science, hence an inexperienced person.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)