De Novo

In general usage, de novo is a Latin expression meaning "from the beginning," "afresh," "anew," "beginning again." It is used in:

Biology and chemistry

  • De novo mutation, a genetic mutation that neither parent possessed nor transmitted.
  • De novo transcriptome assembly, the method of creating a transcriptome without a reference genome
  • De novo synthesis of complex molecules from simple molecules in biochemistry
  • In bioinformatics, de novo is a form of sequencing, as in "de novo peptide sequencing."
  • De novo may also be a term used to define methods for making predictions about biological features using only a computational model without extrinsic comparison to existing data. In this context, it may be sometimes interchangeable with the Latin term ab initio.

Computer science

  • De novo search, signifying the start of a new (or repeated from the start) algorithm in computer science, discrete and computational geometry, and in particular, a packing problem.


  • Trial de novo, or a new trial in the legal system
  • De novo review, an appellate standard of review for legal issues


  • De novo bank, a state bank that has been in operation for five years or less
  • In financial terminology, numbers reported by newly founded companies (especially the financial services industry) are qualified as de novo, to distinguish them from older companies. For example, "growth de novo" means growth of newly started companies.
  • In the context of marketing and advertising, de novo means "again, but in a different way" and is linked to guerrilla and grass roots marketing campaigns.

Other uses

  • Synonym of ex novo