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

A couple years ago, startup publisher Serial Box launched with an aim to publish stories in a slightly different way: tell a longer story by breaking it up into manageable, shorter stories, written by a team of writers. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "Serial Box is experimenting with super-short fiction with Microfiction Mondays," 28 June 2018 Summer Writing Workshop: Work on your memoir, novel, essay or short story. Courant Community, "Community News For The Vernon Edition," 19 June 2018 Her father is David Milch, creator of NYPD Blue and HBO's Deadwood, and the two partnered on her first credit out of Yale: a series of adaptations (not yet produced) of William Faulkner's novels and short stories for HBO., "How Olivia Milch Went From Dude To Ocean's 8 At Just 29," 7 June 2018 His 26 books often drew on his experiences growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation in Wellpinit, Stevens County, and his work spanned many genres: children’s and young-adult literature as well as adult fiction, short stories, poetry and memoir. Nina Shapiro, The Seattle Times, "Sherman Alexie addresses the sexual-misconduct allegations that have led to fallout," 1 Mar. 2018 Outside of school, Sherman enjoys reading, calligraphy writing, watercolor painting and writing poems and short stories. Charlene Paparizos,, "Chagrin Falls High School Chagrin Valley Rotary Student of the Month: Community Voice," 22 Feb. 2018 Amid the vast archive of the playwright’s papers are drafts of his most famous works— including Death of a Salesman, All My Sons and The Crucible—along with screenplays, essays and short stories, some of which were never published. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Arthur Miller’s Vast Archive Comes to the University of Texas at Austin," 12 Jan. 2018 His output includes more than 1,700 short stories and articles, at least 100 books, and dozens of screenplays and TV scripts. Richard Sandomir,, "Harlan Ellison, pugnacious and prolific science fiction writer, dies at 84," 30 June 2018 His output includes more than 1,700 short stories and articles, at least 100 books and dozens of screenplays and television scripts. Richard Sandomir, New York Times, "Harlan Ellison, Intensely Prolific Science Fiction Writer, Dies at 84," 29 June 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

11 Nov 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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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).


obstinately defiant of authority

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