fic·​tion | \ ˈfik-shən How to pronounce fiction (audio) \

Definition of fiction

1a : something invented by the imagination or feigned specifically : an invented story … I'd found out that the story of the ailing son was pure fiction. — Andrew A. Rooney
b : fictitious literature (such as novels or short stories) was renowned as a writer of fiction
c : a work of fiction especially : novel Her latest work is a fiction set during the Civil War.
2a : an assumption of a possibility as a fact irrespective of the question of its truth a legal fiction
b : a useful illusion or pretense it was only a fiction of independence his mother gave him; he was almost totally under her power— G. A. Wagner
3 : the action of feigning or of creating with the imagination She engaged in fiction to escape painful realities.

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Other Words from fiction

fictionality \ ˌfik-​shə-​ˈna-​lə-​tē How to pronounce fiction (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for fiction



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Examples of fiction in a Sentence

She believes the fiction that crime rates are up. most stories about famous outlaws of the Old West are fictions that have little or nothing to do with fact
Recent Examples on the Web The way the census counts those men, and the way Wenum and the county redistricting committee chose to include them in their district map, creates a kind of fiction about what the community there looks like., 15 Oct. 2021 One, Squid Game, is, yes, bleak, but also fiction—if anything, its dystopian view is a counter-intuitive escape. Angela Watercutter, Wired, 15 Oct. 2021 At a time in which the fundamentals of fact and fiction are being questioned, his art captures the truth of a culture in decline. Susan Dominus Photographs By Joshua Kissi Styled By Ian Bradley Sasha Weiss Photographs By Collier Schorr Styled By Jay Massacret Megan O’grady Portrait By Mickalene Thomas And Racquel Chevremont Ligaya Mishan Photographs By Tina Barney, New York Times, 14 Oct. 2021 Start with the fiction that government created Moderna’s vaccine success. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 14 Oct. 2021 Author Gary Paulsen, best known for writing young-adult fiction novels such as Hatchet, The River, and Woodsong, has died this morning at the age of 82, Publishers Weekly confirmed in a tweet. Alejandra Gularte, Vulture, 13 Oct. 2021 The Patty Hearst kidnapping and its nuttier-than-fiction heiress-on-the-run aftermath. Owen Gleiberman, Variety, 12 Oct. 2021 And my historical fiction novel opens near San Diego. Shelby Grad Deputy Managing Editor, Los Angeles Times, 12 Oct. 2021 What compelled you to start writing fiction in your early forties? Merve Emre, The New Yorker, 10 Oct. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fiction.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of fiction

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for fiction

Middle English ficcioun "invention of the mind," borrowed from Middle French fiction, borrowed from Latin fictiōn-, fictiō "action of shaping or molding, feigning, pretense, legal fiction," from fig-, variant stem of fingere "to mold, fashion, make a likeness of, pretend to be" + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of verbal action — more at feign

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Time Traveler for fiction

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The first known use of fiction was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

20 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Fiction.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for fiction



English Language Learners Definition of fiction

: written stories about people and events that are not real : literature that tells stories which are imagined by the writer
: something that is not true


fic·​tion | \ ˈfik-shən How to pronounce fiction (audio) \

Kids Definition of fiction

1 : something told or written that is not fact
2 : a made-up story
3 : works of literature that are not true stories



Legal Definition of fiction

Other Words from fiction

fictional adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on fiction

Nglish: Translation of fiction for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fiction for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about fiction


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