non·fic·tion | \ˌnän-ˈfik-shən \

Definition of nonfiction 

: writing or cinema that is about facts and real events He prefers to read nonfiction rather than novels.

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Other Words from nonfiction

nonfictional \ˌnän-ˈfik-shnəl, -shə-nᵊl \ adjective

Examples of nonfiction in a Sentence

He reads a lot of nonfiction.

Recent Examples on the Web

The fiction is a universe, the nonfiction is an argument. Michelle Weber, Longreads, "Arundhati Roy: “Fiction is a Universe”," 26 June 2018 In his use of novelistic techniques in his nonfiction, Wolfe, beginning in the 1960s, helped create the enormously influential hybrid known as New Journalism. Anchorage Daily News, "Tom Wolfe, whose “The Right Stuff” and other books captured the American experience, has died at 87," 15 May 2018 This Karlovy Vary world premiere should find a berth at other nonfiction and general film showcases before segueing quite comfortably to the small screen, where its boxy aspect ratio will look most at home. Boyd Van Hoeij, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The Swing' ('Al Marjouha'): Film Review | Karlovy Vary 2018," 12 July 2018 Nancy Rommelmann is the author of several nonfiction and fiction books, and her long-form journalism has appeared in the New York Times, LA Weekly, and the Wall Street Journal, among other publications. Nancy Rommelmann, Good Housekeeping, "Amanda Stott-Smith Was a Loving Mother of 3. So Why Did She Try to Murder Her 2 Youngest Kids?," 29 June 2018 The list is long on intellectual nonfiction and short on anything that could be described as a beach read. Michael Schaub,, "Obama shares his June reading list, but don't expect any beach reads," 18 June 2018 That contest strategy includes reading lots of nonfiction and playing 'Jeopardy!' regularly. Anne Marie Hunter, kansascity, "Educators for $800, Alex: This Kansas teacher just won a 'Jeopardy!' tournament | The Kansas City Star," 18 May 2018 Students will receive instruction on writing fiction, nonfiction and poetry, with plenty of time devoted to writing and sharing their work with each other. Helena Oliviero, ajc, "A guide to great summer camps in metro Atlanta," 3 May 2018 What readers made of books such as Little Women remains a mystery, but textbooks and nonfiction were popular reading choices in developing nations throughout this period. Amanda Laugesen, Smithsonian, "This Cold War-Era Publishing House Wanted To Share American Values With the World," 13 July 2018

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

1867, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for nonfiction

Last Updated

22 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for nonfiction

The first known use of nonfiction was in 1867

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More Definitions for nonfiction



English Language Learners Definition of nonfiction

: writing that is about facts or real events : all writing that is not fiction


non·fic·tion | \ˈnän-ˈfik-shən \

Kids Definition of nonfiction

: writing that is about facts or real events

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Comments on nonfiction

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


one that holds something together

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