fic·​tion·​al·​ize | \ ˈfik-shnə-ˌlīz How to pronounce fictionalize (audio) , -shə-nə-ˌlīz\
fictionalized; fictionalizing

Definition of fictionalize

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 How to pronounce fictionalization (audio) , -​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

A century later, Albinati has fictionalized the crime his classmates committed and elaborated on it in the language of broad-brush cultural criticism. Paul Elie, The New Yorker, "Sex and Power in “The Catholic School”," 19 Aug. 2019 The story in Friday’s Eagle by Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News, a story marred by a number of factual errors, did at least reveal clearly that Jim Bouton’s instinct for self-pity and tendency to fictionalize history is still intact. Tom Hoffarth,, "‘Ball Four’ author Jim Bouton smoked baseball inside until the very end," 14 July 2019 In turn, Time magazine (which, like Life, was owned by Time Inc.), accused O Cruzeiro of fictionalizing its New York images. Los Angeles Times, "Flavio da Silva, photographed as a boy in Brazil’s favelas, on the images that outraged," 19 July 2019 The filmmaker, Joe Talbot, fictionalized a very real problem. Collier Meyerson, WIRED, "The Last Black Man Searches for ‘Authenticity’ but There Is None," 6 June 2019 But the disclaimer implies that the film is essentially true, whereas all biopics are fictionalized, usually to a high degree. Terry Teachout, WSJ, "What’s Wrong With ‘Green Book’?," 27 Dec. 2018 Yet the star of Susanna Nicchiarelli’s freely fictionalized biopic, Trine Dyrholm, finds fierce beauty in the woman Nico has become. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, "‘Nico, 1988’ Review: Heroin and Heroine," 2 Aug. 2018 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

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

Statistics for fictionalize

Last Updated

3 Sep 2019

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

Rhyming Dictionary: 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).


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Dictionary Devil

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!