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


fable, fabrication, fantasy (also phantasy), figment, invention


fact, materiality, reality

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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

Tearjerkers, family tension and realistic fiction are at your fingertips with the secret Netflix drama codes. Rachel E. Greenspan, Time, "These Are the Netflix Codes You Can Use to Take a Shortcut Straight to the Shows and Movies You Actually Want to Watch," 3 July 2019 Grey Ellis We Cast a Shadow (Penguin Random House) As speculative fiction goes, Maurice Carlos Ruffin's dark family satire about a distant-future American South crackles with pathos and an instinctual canniness. Wired Staff, WIRED, "Everything You Should Binge Over the July 4th Weekend," 3 July 2019 What bogged us down was the costly sociology experiment, built on a fiction that never had public support, that our own liberty and security hinges on the promotion of freedom in the Muslim-majority countries where jihadism thrives. Andrew C. Mccarthy, National Review, "For Regime Change in Iran," 29 June 2019 Slade’s first fiction book, released in 2018, tells the story of Annie, a girl who dreams of exploring the solar system. Bianca Sanchez,, "NASA to land first woman on the moon. ‘It would be out of this world.’," 26 June 2019 Pieces shows how Morrison transformed fiction by holding fast to her revolutionary worldview: Assert the humanity of black people. Syreeta Mcfadden, The Atlantic, "A Documentary That Shows Another Side of Toni Morrison," 25 June 2019 Rights to the paperback edition of that book were sold for $3.2 million, then the highest price ever paid for a fiction reprint. The Washington Post,, "Judith Krantz, best-selling racy romance novelist, dies at 91," 23 June 2019 With Wagner playing a mystery fiction professor turned amateur detective, one can’t help but recall Angela Lansbury’s Jessica Fletcher. Rebecca Angel Baer, Southern Living, "Armchair Sleuths, Grab the Remote: Hallmark's Mystery 101 is Back," 21 June 2019 Hill chose not to collect volumes on medicine, law, genealogy or popular fiction, preferring instead books on history, science, economics, art, music and geography. Frederick Melo, Twin Cities, "Nearing the century mark, downtown St. Paul’s James J. Hill Center to close in July," 11 June 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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Statistics for fiction

Last Updated

8 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for fiction

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

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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

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Comments on fiction

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