fic·ti·tious | \fik-ˈti-shəs \

Definition of fictitious 

1 : of, relating to, or characteristic of fiction : imaginary fictitious events described in his novel

2a : conventionally or hypothetically assumed or accepted a fictitious concept

b of a name : false, assumed

3 : not genuinely felt

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from fictitious

fictitiously adverb
fictitiousness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for fictitious

fictitious, fabulous, legendary, mythical, apocryphal mean having the nature of something imagined or invented. fictitious implies fabrication and suggests artificiality or contrivance more than deliberate falsification or deception. fictitious characters fabulous stresses the marvelous or incredible character of something without necessarily implying impossibility or actual nonexistence. a land of fabulous riches legendary suggests the elaboration of invented details and distortion of historical facts produced by popular tradition. the legendary exploits of Davy Crockett mythical implies a purely fanciful explanation of facts or the creation of beings and events out of the imagination. mythical creatures apocryphal implies an unknown or dubious source or origin or may imply that the thing itself is dubious or inaccurate. a book that repeats many apocryphal stories

Did You Know?

Fictitious is related to the Latin word ficticius, meaning "artificial" or "feigned." It was first used in English as an antonym for "natural." For instance, a fake diamond would be referred to as a fictitious one. This use indicates the word's deeper Latin roots. Ficticius is from Latin fingere, meaning "to shape, form, or devise." Nowadays, "fictitious" is no longer used for physical things shaped by the human hand. Rather, it is typically used for imaginative creations or for feigned emotions.

Examples of fictitious in a Sentence

The characters in the book are all fictitious. She gave a fictitious address on the application.

Recent Examples on the Web

In one instance, an FBI IT specialist with top-secret security clearance failed four polygraph tests and admitted to having created a fictitious Facebook account to communicate with a foreign national, but received no disciplinary action for that. Eric Lichtblau, Time, "The FBI Is in Crisis. It's Worse Than You Think," 3 May 2018 The messages were released through fictitious personas like DCLeaks and Guccifer 2.0. Eric Tucker,, "Moscow accused of US election meddling in indictment," 13 July 2018 The regulator has described Mr. Chan as the guiding mind in a scheme to defraud investors through fictitious company locations and opaque documents to overstate the value of Sino-Forest’s revenues and assets. Jacquie Mcnish, WSJ, "Canadian Regulators Impose Penalties on Former Executives of Bankrupt Sino-Forest," 11 July 2018 These before-and-after images had a synergistic effect, adding a fictitious wash to my memories of how the town used to be. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "Haruki Murakami Strolls Through His Childhood Home After the Hanshin Earthquake," 22 June 2018 Even casual fans of The Andy Griffith Show were well acquainted with Mayberry, the fictitious all-American small town that provided the backdrop for the show. Michelle Profis, Country Living, "Betty Lynn, One of the Last Surviving Cast Members of 'The Andy Griffith Show,' Just Turned 90," 29 Aug. 2016 In this thriller and escapist fairy tale co-written by Clinton and Patterson, the fictitious President Jonathan Lincoln Duncan is in trouble for supposedly having had dealings with terrorists. New York Times, "10 New Books We Recommend This Week," 14 June 2018 The fictitious president’s firing of employees to root out the name-caller created a public controversy known as C**t-gate. Stephanie Ebbert,, "Why the c-word is still the third rail of profanity," 1 June 2018 Mueller's office charged that Guccifer 2.0 was a fictitious identity for a group of hackers who worked for the GRU, a Russian intelligence service. Brad Heath, USA TODAY, "Mueller: Congressional candidate sought stolen emails from Russian spies in 2016," 13 July 2018

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

circa 1633, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for fictitious

borrowed from Medieval Latin fictīcius "artificial, imaginary, feigned, fraudulent," going back to Latin, "artificial, not natural," from fictus, past participle of fingere "to mold, fashion, make a likeness of, pretend to be" + -īcius -itious — more at feign

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about fictitious

Share fictitious

Listen to Our Podcast about fictitious

Dictionary Entries near fictitious








Statistics for fictitious

Last Updated

5 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for fictitious

The first known use of fictitious was circa 1633

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for fictitious



English Language Learners Definition of fictitious

: not true or real


fic·ti·tious | \fik-ˈti-shəs \

Kids Definition of fictitious

: not real a fictitious country



Legal Definition of fictitious 

1 : of, relating to, or characteristic of a legal fiction

2 : false

Other Words from fictitious

fictitiously adverb
fictitiousness noun

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on fictitious

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


a state of commotion or excitement

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
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!