science fiction


Definition of science fiction

: fiction dealing principally with the impact of actual or imagined science on society or individuals or having a scientific factor as an essential orienting component

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Other Words from science fiction

science-fictional \ ˈsī-​ən(t)s-​ˈfik-​shnəl , -​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective

Examples of science fiction in a Sentence

Time travel exists only in the realm of science fiction.

Recent Examples on the Web

Lockheed Martin, General Atomics, and Boeing have all been working on paving the way for the laser-armed drones that would seem the stuff of science fiction to become a reality. Allison Barrie, Fox News, "New laser-equipped drones will take out missile threats against the US," 7 Sep. 2018 As a black female writer, Butler made waves in science fiction by bringing a diverse cast of characters to her stories, while tackling complicated issues facing humanity. Sofia Mele, Billboard, "Google Doodle Honors Sci-Fi Pioneer Octavia E. Butler," 22 June 2018 That led to the Octavia’s Brood project, which became a book of science fiction from social justice movements leaders. Justin Scott Campbell, Longreads, "Earning Our Place on the Planet: An Interview with adrienne maree brown," 24 Apr. 2018 Annihilation February 23 There are some serious actresses and actors powering this new science fiction epic about a mysterious environmental disaster zone. Carol Motsinger,, "Here are the movies we'll be watching in 2018," 4 Jan. 2018 Contemporary science fiction often feels fixated on a sort of pessimism that peers into the world of tomorrow and sees the apocalypse looming more often than not. The Verge, "Better Worlds," 5 Dec. 2018 For decades, science fiction has predicted automated eating as a way for corporations to control assembly lines. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "IBM Files Patent For a Coffee Delivery Drone," 24 Aug. 2018 Studies in nuclear physics, molecular chemistry, as well as a growing obsession with science fiction all played into the futuristic shapes and materials seen in everything from furniture to suburban homes and skyscrapers. Hillary Brown, House Beautiful, "Everything You Need To Know About Mid-Century Modern Design," 13 Sep. 2018 Much of the attention at the biennial aerospace jamboree was on still-developing forms of air transport that were widely dismissed as science fiction barely a few years ago. Robert Wall, WSJ, "Air Taxis and Self-Driving Aircraft: Aviation Industry Faces Its Future," 21 July 2018

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

1851, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for science fiction

Last Updated

23 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for science fiction

The first known use of science fiction was in 1851

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More Definitions for science fiction

science fiction


English Language Learners Definition of science fiction

: stories about how people and societies are affected by imaginary scientific developments in the future

science fiction


Kids Definition of science fiction

: made-up stories about the influence of real or imagined science on society or individuals

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Comments on science fiction

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


a complex dispute or argument

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