short story


Definition of short story

: an invented prose narrative shorter than a novel usually dealing with a few characters and aiming at unity of effect and often concentrating on the creation of mood rather than plot

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Synonyms for short story


narrative, novelette, novella, story, tale, yarn

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Examples of short story in a Sentence

her very first short story was accepted for publication in a local journal

Recent Examples on the Web

April 3rd Incident Yu Hua, translation by Allan Barr A collection of short stories from one of China’s best-known contemporary writers. Amanda Shendruk, Quartzy, "Here’s what every Chinese book recently translated for the US is about," 27 July 2019 Raised in Captivity: Fictional Nonfiction, Klosterman’s first collection of short stories, extends his trademark curiosity and whirring intelligence to the realm of fiction. Time, "Review: A Puma in the Airplane Bathroom, a Wikipedia Page Deleter and More in Chuck Klosterman's Latest," 11 July 2019 Kerr, a prolific writer of short stories, had a somewhat unusual life for a woman of her times. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "You Could Own This New York Townhouse, once Featured in House Beautiful in 1924," 12 June 2019 There’s an almost literary short story to be written about Andy Murray’s 2019 Australian Open. Jon Wertheim,, "50 Parting Thoughts From Wimbledon 2019," 14 July 2019 The book feels like a collection of super-short stories that interconnect and echo each other, yet always end with a delicious plate of something. Alex Beggs, Bon Appétit, "I Came for the Lamb Recipes, I Stayed for the Best Cookbook Writing of the Year," 13 June 2019 The gaming equivalent of literature’s short story only really became feasible with the rise of the Internet, which reduced distribution costs down to practically zero. Angela Watercutter, WIRED, "In Praise of Ultra-Short Videogames," 8 June 2019 The simplistic heart wisdom about the road not traveled isn’t as fun as the journey, however, which — at a friendly hour-and-a-quarter — satisfies in the manner of a brisk short story. Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times, "Review: ‘A Faithful Man’ provides a sexy morsel of French romance," 1 Aug. 2019 Things get a little weird in Florida, as in Lauren Groff’s marvelous short story collection, Florida, and really, really weird in Jeff VanDerMeer’s Southern Reach Trilogy. Alison Fields, Longreads, "On, In, or Near the Sea: A Book List," 25 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'short story.' 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 short story

1877, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for short story

Last Updated

2 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for short story

The first known use of short story was in 1877

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More Definitions for short story

short story


English Language Learners Definition of short story

: a short written story usually dealing with few characters : a short work of fiction

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More from Merriam-Webster on short story

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with short story

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for short story

Spanish Central: Translation of short story Encyclopedia article about short story

Comments on short story

What made you want to look up short story? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


concealment of treason or felony

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