fic·​tion | \ ˈfik-shən How to pronounce fiction (audio) \

Definition of fiction

1a : something invented by the imagination or feigned specifically : an invented story … I'd found out that the story of the ailing son was pure fiction. — Andrew A. Rooney
b : fictitious literature (such as novels or short stories) was renowned as a writer of fiction
c : a work of fiction especially : novel Her latest work is a fiction set during the Civil War.
2a : an assumption of a possibility as a fact irrespective of the question of its truth a legal fiction
b : a useful illusion or pretense it was only a fiction of independence his mother gave him; he was almost totally under her power— G. A. Wagner
3 : the action of feigning or of creating with the imagination She engaged in fiction to escape painful realities.

Other Words from fiction

fictionality \ ˌfik-​shə-​ˈna-​lə-​tē How to pronounce fiction (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for fiction



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Examples of fiction in a Sentence

She believes the fiction that crime rates are up. most stories about famous outlaws of the Old West are fictions that have little or nothing to do with fact
Recent Examples on the Web Science fiction author Matthew Kressel is hopeful that an extended edition of Dune might restore some of his favorite scenes from the book. Geek's Guide To The Galaxy, WIRED, 5 Nov. 2021 However, this science-fiction flick delves into many environmental, emotional and evocative subjects. John Benson, cleveland, 3 Nov. 2021 The legends arrive in Chicago and come across a speakeasy that caters to a diverse crowd, but their presence upsets a mob that then burns the club down in this new episode of the time-traveling science-fiction series. Los Angeles Times, 3 Nov. 2021 At the domestic box office, that means science-fiction spectacles and superhero adventures have been selling more tickets than any other genre. Rebecca Rubin, Variety, 1 Nov. 2021 The San Diego chapter of Droid Builders International displayed homemade versions of R2-2D and R5-D4, while real actors from science-fiction shows signed autographs at a row of tables across the hall. Gary Warth, San Diego Union-Tribune, 30 Oct. 2021 The concept of the metaverse was popularized in the science-fiction novel Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson to refer to a digital universe that can be accessed through virtual reality. Jonathan Vanian, Fortune, 28 Oct. 2021 Thiel, meanwhile, became an archetypal nineteen-eighties geek—a talented student, chess player, and science-fiction enthusiast who was bullied by his peers. Anna Wiener, The New Yorker, 27 Oct. 2021 Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation of Frank Herbert’s seminal science-fiction novel introduces a complex extraterrestrial kingdom where a multitude of planets—each with their own culture and social structure—play a key role in the narrative. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, 27 Oct. 2021

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for fiction

Middle English ficcioun "invention of the mind," borrowed from Middle French fiction, borrowed from Latin fictiōn-, fictiō "action of shaping or molding, feigning, pretense, legal fiction," from fig-, variant stem of fingere "to mold, fashion, make a likeness of, pretend to be" + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of verbal action — more at feign

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The first known use of fiction was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

25 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Fiction.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Dec. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of fiction

: written stories about people and events that are not real : literature that tells stories which are imagined by the writer
: something that is not true


fic·​tion | \ ˈfik-shən How to pronounce fiction (audio) \

Kids Definition of fiction

1 : something told or written that is not fact
2 : a made-up story
3 : works of literature that are not true stories



Legal Definition of fiction

Other Words from fiction

fictional adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on fiction

Nglish: Translation of fiction for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fiction for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about fiction


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