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 How to pronounce science-fictional (audio) , -​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

Leigh Whannell wrote and directed this science fiction action movie. San Francisco Chronicle, "New movies: Shailene Woodley finds herself “Adrift”," 29 May 2018 The Folio Society is responsible for a number of beautiful editions of classic works of science fiction. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "An artist on creating the retro art for a new edition of Robert Heinlein’s Starship Troopers," 9 Dec. 2018 Fisher’s co-stars from the famed science fiction franchise, Hamill and Harrison Ford, already have stars with the former receiving his in 2003 and the latter earlier this year. Tyler Mccarthy, Fox News, "'Star Wars' actor Mark Hamill calls for Donald Trump's Walk of Fame star to be replaced with Carrie Fisher," 2 Oct. 2018 Butternut Valley Books 615 Main Street, Hobart, NY Specialty: Paper products and ephemera; mystery and science fiction books; international books. Marley Marius, Vogue, "A Guide to Reading and Wandering Around Upstate New York’s Book Village," 12 Sep. 2018 People who want to watch a science fiction movie in which Los Angeles has no traffic. Chloe Angyal, Marie Claire, "The Only Thing Worse Than Valentine's Day Is Valentine's Day," 14 Feb. 2019 The tech future we were promised was finally here: instant, real-time video conversations, just like the diabolical villains in every science fiction movie ever. Jason Gay, WSJ, "My Kids Are Lousy at Video Chat, But They Love to Hang Up on Me," 20 July 2018 Detroit Free Press Like characters displaced from a science fiction movie, a fleet of five self-driving electric shuttles begins service in downtown Detroit on Wednesday. Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press, "What to know about Detroit's self-driving shuttles," 26 June 2018 The spiritualism articulated by Heilig took an especially dystopian form a few years later in science fiction writer Philip K. Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Daniel Fernandez, Smithsonian, "This New Virtual Reality Experience Drops You In Hiroshima Right After It’s Been Bombed," 27 Apr. 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

Statistics for science fiction

Last Updated

15 Apr 2019

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).


an enemy or opponent

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Thing: Animal Edition

  • alt 5a023732e6f75
  • Name that animal:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


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!