fic·tion·al·ize | \ˈfik-shnə-ˌlīz, -shə-nə-ˌlīz\
fictionalized; fictionalizing

Definition of fictionalize 

(Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

: to make into or treat in the manner of fiction fictionalize a biography

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from fictionalize


fictionalization \ˌfik-shnə-lə-ˈzā-shən, -shə-nə-lə- \ noun

Examples of fictionalize in a Sentence


The book is a fictionalized account of their travels. Her books are based in fact, but she fictionalizes many of the events.

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Does fictionalizing these feelings serve as a sort of bridge? Julia Felsenthal, Vogue, "In Melissa Broder’s The Pisces, a Darkly Erotic Love Story Between a Woman and a Merman," 1 May 2018 Edwidge Danticat fictionalizes this massacre in her dazzling 1998 novel The Farming of Bones. Longreads, "Kara Walker’s Subtlety," 28 Feb. 2018 Neveu has dramatized and fictionalized the story, placing a mentally disabled man, named Terry Kilbourn in the play, and his family at its center. Jim Higgins, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Botched ATF sting in Milwaukee inspires 'To Catch a Fish,' a new play in Chicago," 15 May 2018 Episode by episode, the show would document (and fictionalize) the downfalls of men in power in Hollywood. Rebecca Farley,, "What Do You Get When You Combine #MeToo & Black Mirror? A New Ryan Murphy Show," 7 May 2018 In the 1950s, the game show Twenty One was discovered to be rigged, resulting in a lengthy and public fallout that went all the way to Congress and was fictionalized in the 1994 movie Quiz Show. John Wenz, Popular Mechanics, "How To Write a Jeopardy Clue," 19 Mar. 2018 And while the show’s Milwaukee Space Station is fictionalized, references to Milwaukee’s City Hall, the Allen-Bradley clock tower and the Wisconsin Gas Building are not. Mike Fischer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Skylight's 'Zombies' a soaring sendup of sexless '50s," 3 Feb. 2018 On the one hand, courts recognize that not every person or product must be fictionalized in film and TV. Danny Cevallos, NBC News, "Can Crock-Pot sue ‘This is Us’ over controversial plot reveal?," 26 Jan. 2018 Anna Ziegler's 2016 play fictionalizes the case of David Reimer, born in 1965, who had the misfortune of becoming a living laboratory for theories about gender. Tony Adler, Chicago Reader, "Arts / LGBT / Theater Boy shows the consequences of a gender experiment gone wrong," 24 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fictionalize.' 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 fictionalize


1918, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for fictionalize


fictional + -ize

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about fictionalize

Share fictionalize

Statistics for fictionalize

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for fictionalize

The first known use of fictionalize was in 1918

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for fictionalize



English Language Learners Definition of fictionalize

: to change (a true story) into fiction by changing or adding details

More from Merriam-Webster on fictionalize

See words that rhyme with fictionalize

Comments on fictionalize

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


not any or not one

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

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!