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

After reading a short story the young Gilmer wrote, Nicholson hired her to write for the newspaper's women's page. Mike Scott,, "Dorothy Dix, journalism pioneer: 1 of 300," 1 Mar. 2018 The 1968 movie, the adaptation of Arthur C. Clarke's short story directed by Stanley Kubrick, is a multisensory ode to cosmic mystery, fate and the future. Kayla Fitzgerald, sacbee, "Additional showtimes of '2001: A Space Odyssey' slated for Tower Theatre," 10 July 2018 This collection of short stories, which came out in April, is high-minded and literary but also incredibly, painfully relatable. Team Marie Claire, Marie Claire, "11 Best Beach Reads, According to Our Editors," 6 July 2018 Over a 60-year writing career, Ellison penned 1,700 short stories, screenplays, and comic books. Darren Orf, Popular Mechanics, "Harlan Ellison Turned Star Trek Into Something More. Could It Happen Again?," 29 June 2018 In a 2013 interview with the Guardian, Ellison put his tally at around 1,800 short stories, novellas, essays, and scripts. Keith Phipps, Vox, "Harlan Ellison wrote Star Trek’s greatest episode. He hated it.," 29 June 2018 The show, which returns Monday and runs through the end of the year, offers a mix of short stories, jokes and teeth-cleaning tips. Lucy Cohen Blatter, WSJ, "Less Screen Time and Tooth-Brushing Tips: The Rise of Children’s Podcasts," 7 June 2018 All proceeds from the show, which includes poetry, short stories, vignettes, fiction and nonfiction work, will go toward a pair of local grassroots organizations. Adam Lukach, RedEye Chicago, "5 things to do in Chicago this weekend," 14 Dec. 2017 Based on a short story by Stephen King (yes, Stephen King), the movie follows four boys in small-town Oregon circa 1959 who set out one summer day to find a dead body. Lisa Respers France, CNN, "Tom Cruise teases 'Top Gun' sequel," 31 May 2018

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

16 Sep 2018

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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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