non·​fic·​tion | \ ˌnän-ˈfik-shən How to pronounce nonfiction (audio) \

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 How to pronounce nonfiction (audio) , -​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective

Examples of nonfiction in a Sentence

He reads a lot of nonfiction.
Recent Examples on the Web Lovecraft’s worldview was influenced by other writers, men who were not working, like him, in the trenches of genre fiction, but who were advocating national and world policies through seemingly respectable nonfiction books. Siddhartha Deb, The New Republic, "The Shadow Over H.P. Lovecraft," 19 Mar. 2021 The biographer, a contributing editor at Vanity Fair and the author of numerous nonfiction books, goes out of his way to place his homicidal subject in the fairest possible light. Tom Nolan, WSJ, "‘Bugsy Siegel’ Review: A Slickly Lethal Gangster," 18 Feb. 2021 How did a book as complex and incomprehensible as A Brief History of Time end up as the likely best-selling nonfiction book of the year? James Gleick, The New York Review of Books, "Eclipsed by Fame," 13 Apr. 2021 No release date has been announced for the Apple Original Film, an adaptation of David Grann’s nonfiction book about a string of murders in Oklahoma’s Osage Nation. Jon Freeman, Rolling Stone, "Jason Isbell, Sturgill Simpson Cast in Martin Scorsese’s ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’," 6 Apr. 2021 Inspired by Jessica Bruder's 2017 nonfiction book Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century, the drama is an understated chronicle of a singular kind of life, lived without artificial embellishment. Mary Sollosi,, "The Front-Runner: With Nomadland, Chloé Zhao is on the road to Oscars history," 6 Apr. 2021 Leff had recently finished his second nonfiction book., "The poetry of David Leff: Exploring connections between people and with the natural world," 1 Apr. 2021 The author of nearly 30 novels, about 15 works of nonfiction and more than 40 screenplays and teleplays, McMurtry died Thursday of heart failure at 84. Los Angeles Times, "Book Club: George Takei on how to fight anti-Asian violence," 27 Mar. 2021 With three works of nonfiction under his belt, Laskin made that jump. Malcom Forbes Special To The Star Tribune, Star Tribune, "Review: 'What Sammy Knew,' by David Laskin," 12 Mar. 2021

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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Time Traveler for nonfiction

Time Traveler

The first known use of nonfiction was in 1867

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Statistics for nonfiction

Last Updated

1 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Nonfiction.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 May. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce nonfiction (audio) \

Kids Definition of nonfiction

: writing that is about facts or real events

More from Merriam-Webster on nonfiction

Nglish: Translation of nonfiction for Spanish Speakers

Comments on nonfiction

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