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

The Nevers is described as an epic science fiction drama about a gang of Victorian women who find themselves with unusual abilities, relentless enemies and a mission that might change the world. Lesley Goldberg, The Hollywood Reporter, "Joss Whedon Sci-Fi Drama Ordered Straight to Series at HBO," 13 July 2018 The film, a science fiction allegory (though the sci-fi angle arrives late in the game), comes from rapper and musician Boots Riley of Oakland, California, hip-hop band the Coup, who makes his feature debut here as screenwriter and director. Michael Phillips, Detroit Free Press, "Review: Sci-fi and satire meet in ‘Sorry to Bother You’," 12 July 2018 The 1968 science fiction classic will be playing at 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and at 11 a.m. Sunday, according to a post on the Tower Theatre's Facebook page. Kayla Fitzgerald, sacbee, "Additional showtimes of '2001: A Space Odyssey' slated for Tower Theatre," 10 July 2018 That’s a common tack for science fiction — particularly satires and dystopia stories, which poke fun at America’s less-desirable elements, and challenge people to do better. Tasha Robinson, The Verge, "10 subversive, dark American futures to stream on July 4th," 4 July 2018 Despite the many awards for his science fiction and fantasy stories, his reputation suffered, particularly towards the end of his life, from his mercurial and sometimes violent temper, which led to transgressive and criminal behavior. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "Harlan Ellison’s Death Raises a #MeToo Quandary," 2 July 2018 Ellison was best-known and lauded for science fiction, but his prolific work included mysteries, comic books, articles and screenplays. Fox News, "Science fiction author Harlan Ellison dead at age 84," 28 June 2018 In this case, a blockbuster science fiction film opened the door to science for a whole new generation of paleontologists. Eva Botkin-kowacki, The Christian Science Monitor, "Rise of the 'Jurassic Park' generation," 11 June 2018 Star Wars created a culture and a phenomenon that helped pave the way for space opera science fiction in years to come. Daniela Sternitzky-di Napoli, Houston Chronicle, "See iconic 'Star Wars' actors then and now for May 4th Star Wars Day," 4 May 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

14 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

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).


to reject or criticize sharply

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