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

Download this free eight-page PDF download for four short stories on black holes. Discover Magazine, "Black Holes Explained," 20 Dec. 2018 Almost a sketch, the story achieves a brief, uncanny completeness, which proves typical of the nearly fifty more (very) short stories in the collection. Scott Cheshire,, "Sara Gallardo's work has finally been published in English. It's about time," 6 July 2018 The screenplay, by John Ajvide Lindqvist, the director and Isabella Eklöf, is based on a short story by Mr. Lindqvist. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, "Reviews: A ‘Border’ to Cross, a ‘Suspiria’ to Shun," 25 Oct. 2018 There are a few websites that offer free short stories for your perusal. Jenni Miller, SELF, "7 Ways to Find Truly Sexy Erotica, According to Someone Who Reads Tons of It," 22 Feb. 2019 Putting in my own poetry and short stories and fiction and screenplays — that’s reinforced the concept of understanding that the genre of a text is important to understanding what the author of a text is trying to communicate. Emily Mcfarlan Miller, Washington Post, "Ever-evolving influence of a ‘Bible nerd’-turned author," 22 June 2018 As one of India’s most acclaimed directors, Bhansali is known for his signature blockbuster productions, such as 2007 romantic musical Saawariya (Beloved), based on Fyodor Dostoevsky's short story White Nights. Nyay Bhushan, The Hollywood Reporter, "Viacom’s Bollywood Epic ‘Padmaavat’ to Open Against Sony’s ‘PadMan’," 15 Jan. 2018 These two volumes bring together the fiction of Andre Dubus, one of the 20th century’s most gifted short story writers, who, like Raymond Carver, became a master of the form by writing about ordinary, often struggling men and women. New York Times, "New & Noteworthy," 26 June 2018 In the short story by Herman Melville from which our new column takes its name, Bartleby was a scrivener—a dying art, nowadays. The Economist, "Introducing Bartleby, our new column on management and work," 26 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

13 May 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).


to mark by some ceremony or observation

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