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-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 And for her work in the genre, Fontana is remembered for breaking ground for women in science fiction. Ashley Boucher,, "Trailblazing Star Trek Writer D.C. Fontana Dies at 80: 'She Was a Pioneer'," 3 Dec. 2019 According to Musk, the Cybertruck’s inspiration is indeed rooted in science fiction. Taylor Telford, Washington Post, "Elon Musk: Tesla’s Cybertruck windows would have been unbreakable if not for the sledgehammer," 25 Nov. 2019 Within a few years, however, McNelly found other aficionados and by the mid-1960s had begun to teach a course in science fiction at the university. David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times, "Inside the archives — and mind — of sci-fi legend Philip K. Dick," 16 Aug. 2019 Wormholes have long been popular fixtures in science fiction as handy ways to get around by offering a kind of cosmic shortcut. Steve Nadis, Discover Magazine, "We've Found Gravitational Waves. What Will We Learn From Them?," 24 May 2019 During the question-and-answer period, a silver-haired woman approached the microphone to say that McNamee’s worries sounded like science fiction. Brian Barth, The New Yorker, "Big Tech’s Big Defector," 25 Nov. 2019 Interstellar space exploration has long been the stuff of science fiction, a technological challenge that many engineers believe humans just aren’t up to yet. Wired, "NASA is Getting Serious About an Interstellar Mission," 31 Oct. 2019 The notion of extra dimensions beyond those four sounds like science fiction, but that’s been the focus of scientific inquiry for at least a century. Steve Nadis, Discover Magazine, "We've Found Gravitational Waves. What Will We Learn From Them?," 24 May 2019 These two high-flying chief executives are trying to turn the stuff of science fiction into medical reality. Sy Mukherjee, Fortune, "2 CEOs on the Future of Digital Health," 18 Nov. 2019

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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Time Traveler for science fiction

Time Traveler

The first known use of science fiction was in 1851

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Statistics for science fiction

Last Updated

7 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Science fiction.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 20 January 2020.

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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).


not to be intimidated or subdued

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