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 Archer City would become the model for Thalia, a town that often appeared in his fiction. New York Times, "Larry McMurtry, Novelist of the American West, Dies at 84," 26 Mar. 2021 Archer City would become the model for Thalia, a town that often appeared in his fiction., "Larry McMurtry, chronicler of an unalloyed American West, dies at 84," 26 Mar. 2021 During the Depression, her father lost his job, just as Ramona’s father would decades later in Cleary’s fiction. Valerie J. Nelson, Los Angeles Times, "Beverly Cleary, beloved and prolific author of children’s books, dies at 104," 26 Mar. 2021 Archer City would become the model for Thalia, a town that often appeared in his fiction. Dwight Garner New York Times, Star Tribune, "Larry McMurtry, novelist of the American West, dies at 84," 26 Mar. 2021 Brenda’s diaphragm, one of the first times that birth control had provided a plot point in American fiction? Michael Gorra, The New York Review of Books, "Philip’s Theater," 23 Mar. 2021 Two venerable champions of the form are Anil Menon and Vandana Singh, both of whom have published widely in short fiction. Washington Post, "Let’s talk about wonderful Indian science-fiction and fantasy novels," 22 Mar. 2021 The sweeping tale about the Vietnam War went on to win the 2016 Pulitzer Prize in fiction and sold over 1 million copies globally. Annabel Gutterman, Time, "Here Are the 14 New Books You Should Read in March," 26 Feb. 2021 There’s a saying that there’s usually a lot of truth in fiction. Sheri Booker, Essence, "Cherie Jones Explores Race, Class, And Domestic Violence In The Caribbean In Her Debut Novel," 26 Feb. 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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Statistics for fiction

Last Updated

11 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Fiction.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Apr. 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

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Comments on fiction

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