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 How to pronounce science fiction (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 Nier Replicant is a postapocalyptic work of science fiction that casts players as a boy on a journey to save his sister from a mysterious illness that causes mysterious writing to appear on her body. Joshua Rivera, Vulture, "24 Games We Can’t Wait to Play in 2021," 15 Jan. 2021 Prediction might not be the intent of science fiction, but humanity seems to suffer a desperate, ever-darkening desire to see as much of it as possible come true. Jason Kehe, Wired, "2021 and the Conspiracies of Johnny Mnemonic," 11 Jan. 2021 Soldiers triaging patients in parking lots in a capital city is normally the stuff of science fiction. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Gala uproar, deputy dragged, anti-mask doctor: News from around our 50 states," 8 Dec. 2020 During November, book club readers explored the legacy and prolific storytelling of science fiction legend Octavia E. Butler. Donna Wares, Los Angeles Times, "Book Club: Writings on a hidden America," 5 Dec. 2020 Soldiers triaging patients in parking lots in a capital city is normally the stuff of science fiction. Keith Ridler, Star Tribune, "Overtaxed Idaho health facilities on brink of rationing care," 5 Dec. 2020 Plenty of science fiction has, over the years, war-gamed the bleak implications of these precarious situations. Clive Thompson, The New Republic, "Monetizing the Final Frontier," 3 Dec. 2020 Driverless cars are moving out of science fiction and onto U.S. roads. Stephen Wilmot, WSJ, "Driverless Cars Are Coming, But Not Yet to Take Over," 2 Dec. 2020 Long the dream of science fiction, railguns use electricity to generate very strong electromagnetic fields between two rails. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Navy Is Firing a Mysterious Weapon Today. It Sure Sounds Like a Railgun.," 1 Dec. 2020

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

1911, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for science fiction

Time Traveler

The first known use of science fiction was in 1911

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Statistics for science fiction

Last Updated

27 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Science fiction.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jan. 2021.

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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

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