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

transitive verb

: to make into or treat in the manner of fiction
fictionalize a biography
fictionalization 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 Keough’s Rebecca is mostly fictionalized, from her romance with childhood friend and cop Cam, a character invented in the series and played by Lily Gladstone, to Rebecca’s decision to feed intel from her teen sources to law enforcement. Jen Chaney, Vulture, 29 May 2024 Podcasting is a professional arena that movies and television have had a mixed track record of fictionalizing in recent years. Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, 9 May 2024 The fight for the Amazon Labor Union is undoubtedly a story that someone is likely to fictionalize some day, but Maing and Story’s doc has all the drama and intrigue that a narrative feature could offer. Scott Roxborough, The Hollywood Reporter, 3 Sep. 2019 Although both Martha and Darrien are heavily fictionalized, fans have been investigating online to try to uncover their real identities, going so far as to accuse figures in British comedy of being Darrien. Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, 24 Apr. 2024 Cook's counterpart in the Under the Bridge book and show is named Josephine Bell, a result of Godfrey fictionalizing the names of the eight teens involved in the assault with the exception of the two who were convicted of Reena's murder. Megan McCluskey, TIME, 18 Apr. 2024 The Harts’ murder-suicide is the most harrowing of the incidents that Banks fictionalizes, and the one readers are most likely to remember and be troubled by, even before encountering his haunting version. Casey Cep, The New Yorker, 17 Apr. 2024 Many of them are easily verifiable but, as we’re told in the film’s opening credits, some of the real events presented have, of course, been fictionalized to a degree for dramatic purposes. Radhika Seth, Vogue, 5 Apr. 2024 Who was Shirley Chisholm? Shirley, a new biographical drama written and directed by John Ridley (writer of the 2013 film 12 Years a Slave), fictionalizes Chisholm’s history-making political career. Ellen Wexler, Smithsonian Magazine, 22 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'fictionalize.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


fictional + -ize

First Known Use

1918, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of fictionalize was in 1918

Dictionary Entries Near fictionalize

Cite this Entry

“Fictionalize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


fic·​tion·​al·​ize ˈfik-shnə-līz How to pronounce fictionalize (audio)
fictionalized; fictionalizing
: to make into fiction
fictionalize a biography
fictionalization noun
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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