fic·​ti·​tious | \ fik-ˈti-shəs How to pronounce fictitious (audio) \

Definition of fictitious

1 : of, relating to, or characteristic of fiction : imaginary fictitious events described in his novel
2a : conventionally or hypothetically assumed or accepted a fictitious concept
b of a name : false, assumed
3 : not genuinely felt

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Other Words from fictitious

fictitiously adverb
fictitiousness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for fictitious

fictitious, fabulous, legendary, mythical, apocryphal mean having the nature of something imagined or invented. fictitious implies fabrication and suggests artificiality or contrivance more than deliberate falsification or deception. fictitious characters fabulous stresses the marvelous or incredible character of something without necessarily implying impossibility or actual nonexistence. a land of fabulous riches legendary suggests the elaboration of invented details and distortion of historical facts produced by popular tradition. the legendary exploits of Davy Crockett mythical implies a purely fanciful explanation of facts or the creation of beings and events out of the imagination. mythical creatures apocryphal implies an unknown or dubious source or origin or may imply that the thing itself is dubious or inaccurate. a book that repeats many apocryphal stories

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Fictitious is related to the Latin word ficticius, meaning "artificial" or "feigned." It was first used in English as an antonym for "natural." For instance, a fake diamond would be referred to as a fictitious one. This use indicates the word's deeper Latin roots. Ficticius is from Latin fingere, meaning "to shape, form, or devise." Nowadays, "fictitious" is no longer used for physical things shaped by the human hand. Rather, it is typically used for imaginative creations or for feigned emotions.

Examples of fictitious in a Sentence

The characters in the book are all fictitious. She gave a fictitious address on the application.
Recent Examples on the Web In a brief court hearing Thursday, the judge agreed with Hastert’s attorney that continued use of the fictitious name is not appropriate during the trial. Christy Gutowski,, 10 Sep. 2021 Onset at the fictitious high school located in New York City or out late for a scandalous rendezvous, the characters were always slaying. Essence, 8 Sep. 2021 The craziest part of the Bishop Sycamore story isn't that a possibly fictitious school sprouted up in Columbus, Ohio, and started scheduling football games against a string of powerhouse programs around the country. Lorenzo Reyes, USA TODAY, 2 Sep. 2021 The website itself has a disclaimer warning its content is fictitious, but social media posts sharing the quote have no such disclaimer. Miriam Fauzia, USA TODAY, 3 Sep. 2021 After Chinese state media quoted a Swiss biologist who warned that the W.H.O. effort to examine the origins of the pandemic would become a tool of the United States, the embassy of Switzerland in China said the expert appeared to be fictitious. New York Times, 25 Aug. 2021 While driving home, Sandy and Norman visit an Indian Casino where Eddie Money is performing under a fictitious name. Guinevere Moore, Forbes, 8 June 2021 Agents would then work undercover, meeting the target with the informant to provide the fictitious details of a robbery. Jason Meisner,, 20 Aug. 2021 These fictitious soldiers would be added to payrolls so corrupt officers could collect their salaries. Natasha Bertrand, CNN, 17 Aug. 2021

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

circa 1633, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for fictitious

borrowed from Medieval Latin fictīcius "artificial, imaginary, feigned, fraudulent," going back to Latin, "artificial, not natural," from fictus, past participle of fingere "to mold, fashion, make a likeness of, pretend to be" + -īcius -itious — more at feign

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Time Traveler for fictitious

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The first known use of fictitious was circa 1633

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Last Updated

19 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Fictitious.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for fictitious



English Language Learners Definition of fictitious

: not true or real


fic·​ti·​tious | \ fik-ˈti-shəs How to pronounce fictitious (audio) \

Kids Definition of fictitious

: not real a fictitious country



Legal Definition of fictitious

1 : of, relating to, or characteristic of a legal fiction
2 : false

Other Words from fictitious

fictitiously adverb
fictitiousness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on fictitious

Nglish: Translation of fictitious for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fictitious for Arabic Speakers


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