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

Keep scrolling for more

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

The narration seems deliberately crude and jerky, as if the nihilism of the tale had infected its telling, and there's an unfortunate late turn into science fiction spoofiness. Patrick Friel, Chicago Reader, "Film / Music / Old Movies to Watch Now / On Video / Small Screen Urgh! A Music War and other punk and postpunk new wave cinema," 10 July 2018 But most gamers are still depicted as being cut from the same mold: smart kids and young men who are obsessed with science fiction, fantasy, comics, and the internet, and don’t like leaving the house. Samantha Nelson, The Verge, "Netflix’s Kiss Me First has an unusually personal take on gamer culture," 29 June 2018 The history of Cinepocalypse’s featured genres, science fiction and horror, are closely aligned. Morgan Smith,, "Catch thrills and chills at Cinepocalypse horror film fest," 21 June 2018 Still, wormholes are less science fact than science fiction, often used in movies and books as intergalactic highways. Marcus Woo, Scientific American, "Gravitational “Echoes” Could Reveal Colliding Wormholes," 19 June 2018 Like reality, the film is a genre mash-up in the most satisfying of ways—part workplace comedy, part existential drama, with elements of science fiction. Jason Parham, WIRED, "Sorry to Bother You: A Dizzying Satire That Hungers for Truth," 7 July 2018 Like his fellow writers in the Golden Age of science fiction, his imagination helped inspire those who created America’s space program. Michael Schaub,, "Celebrate Independence Day with these 17 books by immigrant authors," 3 July 2018 If a giant wave of plastic garbage washing up our shores seems like the stuff of science fiction, think again. Christopher Carbone, Fox News, "Thanks to China, over 100 million metric tons of plastic waste will soon have nowhere to go," 22 June 2018 The autonomous 16-passenger vehicles zipping through the tunnels at speeds over 100 miles per hour would indeed be the stuff of science fiction, though the Emanuel administration has sought to downplay the more unproven aspects of the project. John Byrne,, "Emanuel calls Elon Musk's proposed 12-minute express tunnel to O'Hare 'the fast lane to Chicago's future'," 14 June 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.

See More

First Known Use of science fiction

1851, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about science fiction

Share science fiction

Statistics for science fiction

Last Updated

16 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for science fiction

The first known use of science fiction was in 1851

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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 magnificent or impressive array

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


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!