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.

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from fiction

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

Synonyms & Antonyms for fiction



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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 Rivera Garza writes fiction, essays and scholarly works that illuminate the subjects of language, memory and gender from Mexican and American perspectives. Howard Reich,, "21 MacArthur ‘Genius grant’ winners — including a neuroscientist, econometrician and historian — receive $625K each," 6 Oct. 2020 Or how many Alabama authors won Bram Stocker Awards for horror fiction? Kelly Kazek |, al, "Books by Alabama authors any horror fan would love," 5 Oct. 2020 Your boyfriend, on the other hand, would like to create a narrative that’s a fiction, a pretend version of you, edited for his comfort. Lori Gottlieb, The Atlantic, "Dear Therapist: My Boyfriend Wants Me to Destroy My Precious Scrapbook From My First Marriage," 5 Oct. 2020 Sometimes these losses are an accounting fiction, which is one reason billionaires love buying real estate and sports teams. Ben Steverman,, "Trump’s Taxes Give Biden Blueprint to Fix System Rigged for Rich," 1 Oct. 2020 Entries may be any genre except erotica, children’s fiction, or poetry., "Carroll County Flash Fiction contest deadline extended," 21 Sep. 2020 Here are all the longlist nominees for fiction and nonfiction. Barbara Vandenburgh, USA TODAY, "National Book Awards longlist announced: Brit Bennett, Isabel Wilkerson nominated," 18 Sep. 2020 Dickens’s fiction from the burden of having to deal with disease. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "The Personal History of David Copperfield and Emma Are Perfect Movies for a Pandemic," 16 Sep. 2020 Race, by my way of thinking, is a biological fiction — a social construct with life-or-death consequences for Black people. Courtland Milloy, Washington Post, "His job is to manage health and human services. He’s working on his own.," 15 Sep. 2020

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about fiction

Time Traveler for fiction

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for fiction

Last Updated

19 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Fiction.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Oct. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on fiction

What made you want to look up fiction? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Here Be Dragons: A Creature Identification Quiz

  • monster werewolf photo
  • Which is a synonym of werewolf?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!