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 After Yang Video essayist Kogonada delves into science fiction for his new film. Alison Willmore, Vulture, "65 Movies We Can’t Wait to See in 2021," 5 Jan. 2021 Fantasy and science fiction are perfect vehicles for humor, and better with it than without. Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times, "Review: Fans of the book are picking apart ‘The Watch.’ But it’s a colorful, energetic treat," 3 Jan. 2021 But if humans haven't even been able to head back to the moon since 1972, the odds of trying to head to a planet in another solar system is nothing more than science fiction at this point. USA Today, "On a planet where you cannot breathe, is living on Mars the best idea?," 30 Dec. 2020 One solution long championed by science fiction is suspended animation, or putting humans in a hibernation-like sleep for the duration of travel time. CNN, "Hibernating primates like this tiny lemur could unlock cryogenic sleep for deep space missions," 28 Dec. 2020 For now, wannabe time travelers will still have to look to science fiction for its time travel fix, with some movies being much more accurate than others. Matt Blitz, Popular Mechanics, "We Already Know How to Build a Time Machine," 17 Dec. 2020 Of course, science fiction reflects the present, and the world right now is in a state of hyperconsciousness. Wired Staff, Wired, "The Best Pop Culture That Got Us Through 2020," 16 Dec. 2020 Cyberpunk’s gritty vision of the future has informed much of the science fiction produced since. The Economist, "What is cyberpunk?," 14 Dec. 2020 Some in the group already had an interest in space exploration and science fiction. Sig Christenson,, "Space Force’s first seven recruits graduate from Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland," 10 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

15 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Science fiction.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 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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