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 fictionality (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 Who was writing imaginative fiction like that, before her? Jason Kehe, Wired, "The 20 Best Books of a Decade That Unmade Genre Fiction," 29 Dec. 2019 To others, his statement is the frightened cry of a business built on the fiction of unlimited resources and cheap labor that now finds itself in structural decline. Cassie Werber, Quartz at Work, "Danone is showing multinationals the way to a less destructive form of capitalism," 9 Dec. 2019 The Commonwealth, an initiative of the Commonwealth’s agency for civil society, awards unpublished fiction. Doseline Kiguru, Quartz Africa, "International prizes influence Africa’s modern literary canon but African writers are reshaping it," 3 Dec. 2019 Scrying mirrors, popularized by high fantasy fiction but widely known in the paranormal community for centuries, reportedly allow psychics or witches to see into the future or to look through other reflective surfaces. Clara Turnage, Arkansas Online, "Vendors' wares from odd to sweet; small-business event carries on despite stormy skies in Little Rock," 1 Dec. 2019 Once a British spy himself, le Carré, 88, has been writing best-selling espionage fiction for more than 50 years. Don Oldenburg, USA TODAY, "'Agent Running in the Field' a modern spy thriller from master John le Carré," 22 Oct. 2019 Sandy loved reading fiction, was a bird and animal lover and had severe macaw, a family member for over 30 years., "Deaths in South Florida: 8/18," 18 Aug. 2019 Modern-day myth Modern fiction continues to draw upon the widespread mysteries and fanciful theories. Patrick Masters, Quartz, "The true history of the conspiracy theories about the Knights Templar," 30 Dec. 2019 Check in with the enduring enfant terrible of American fiction. Sophie Kemp, Vogue, "These Were Vogue’s 10 Most-Read Culture Stories of 2019," 30 Dec. 2019

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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Statistics for fiction

Last Updated

21 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Fiction.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 22 January 2020.

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More Definitions for fiction


How to pronounce fiction (audio)

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

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Comments on fiction

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