Definition of fiction in English:


Pronunciation /ˈfikSH(ə)n/ /ˈfɪkʃ(ə)n/

See synonyms for fiction

Translate fiction into Spanish


  • 1Literature in the form of prose, especially short stories and novels, that describes imaginary events and people.

    ‘The prize is popularly seen as an award for a new novelists of adult literary fiction, but this is not the case.’
    • ‘He began his writing career with genre fiction, from historical novels to vampire horror sagas.’
    • ‘In France Zola was the dominant practitioner of naturalism in prose fiction and the chief exponent of its doctrines.’
    • ‘On the one hand it publishes original fiction and prose by authors in Tamil.’
    • ‘She began writing successful romantic fiction and historical novels.’
    • ‘Like all of Roth's fiction, this novel is dazzling but flawed.’
    • ‘Do you enjoy watching soap operas on tv, or reading good fiction or romance novels?’
    • ‘Thus, it is no surprise there are frequent references to Milton in Melville's fiction.’
    • ‘Most book sections give spotty coverage to all genres except literary fiction.’
    • ‘The motives revealed throughout the novel are more than plot devices and nudge the book over towards the literary end of genre fiction.’
    • ‘Orwell, Evelyn Waugh and Belloc considered him unequalled as a writer of prose fiction.’
    • ‘It is not only in the landscapes of the mind, of literary fiction, and of oral tradition, that names are narrated and narration creates names.’
    • ‘In literary fiction, characters fill and organize the story around them.’
    • ‘Desire, power and a certain cruelty are the central motifs in the erotic fiction of Anais Nin.’
    • ‘Another area where there has been disquiet about the content of teen fiction is that of novels which engage with the realities of the world we live in today.’
    • ‘By the early seventeenth century, however, prose fiction had evolved beyond the limits of the novella.’
    • ‘Much of it was so abstract in relation to fiction or poetry as to be nearly meaningless in a literature course.’
    • ‘You have to understand that it is not a genre like fiction and poetry.’
    • ‘We are not likely to approach a work of fiction about James as Jamesian scholars.’
    • ‘Novels with a multi-cultural edge have become the latest trend in literary fiction.’
    novels, stories, creative writing, imaginative writing, works of the imagination, prose literature, narration, story telling
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Invention or fabrication as opposed to fact.
      ‘he dismissed the allegation as absolute fiction’
      • ‘We refuse to contemplate that maybe, just maybe their disdain for us is grounded in more fact than fiction.’
      • ‘We'll separate fact from film fiction about one of history's greatest warriors.’
      • ‘The museum always foregrounds the unresolvable dichotomy between fact and fiction.’
      • ‘The odd jumble of fact and fiction surrounding this initial hit made worldwide headlines.’
      • ‘The winner is the person who best conflates fiction and fact in the audience's mind.’
      • ‘On person tells a story that is important to him or her that can either be fact or fiction.’
      • ‘Please be careful with your mix of fact and fiction as you try to gain the sympathies of your readership.’
      • ‘Listen to some fish stories but try to distinguish between fact and fiction.’
      • ‘Dr Kellett separated the fact from the fiction of the prophetess legend in a previous book published last year.’
      • ‘Let's consider some of the common claims, and try to sort out the fact from the fiction.’
      • ‘This is the ability to separate fact from fiction, truth from lies, and stated agendas from hidden ones.’
      • ‘Whether it's fact, twisted fact, or blatant fiction, people will believe what they see on TV.’
      • ‘Bobby's reputation is a curious mixture of fact and fiction.’
      • ‘It will be folly to be swayed by mealie-mouthed politicians who cannot differentiate fact from fiction.’
      • ‘At a theological level, there is concern at the liberal blurring of the lines between historical fact and fiction.’
      • ‘The fact is at times it's difficult to distinguish between fact and fiction, myth or reality.’
      • ‘Here Brody does an excellent job of sorting out fact, fiction, and political agendas.’
      • ‘It may well turn out that all of Parmalat's financials are true fiction - more a case of Parma sham than Parma ham.’
      • ‘The film is careful not to leave the audience in any doubt about the fiction of the story.’
      • ‘Has anyone seen him write stories about all the fiction in the campaign?’
      fabrication, invention, lies, fibs, concoction, trumped-up story, fake news, alternative fact, untruth, falsehood, fantasy, fancy, illusion, sham, nonsense
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2in singular A belief or statement that is false, but that is often held to be true because it is expedient to do so.
      ‘the notion of that country being a democracy is a polite fiction’
      • ‘He thinks he can rebuild the polite fictions of September 10.’
      • ‘That is his function - to take the polite fictions and drag them back to the real world.’
      • ‘So all of the conventions created in the wake of the Second World War - the Geneva Conventions, the very concept of war crimes - these are all just polite fictions to be crumpled?’
      • ‘Better - and safer - to maintain the polite fiction that he didn't know where she lived.’
      • ‘One of my favorite concepts in anthropology is that of the polite fiction.’
      • ‘Its language seemed formulaic and false, a screen of clichés and convenient fictions.’
      • ‘There is no true dramatic debate; the fiction crashes on the rocks of op-ed.’
      • ‘Pornography, like marriage and the fictions of romantic love, assists the process of false universalising.’
      • ‘To give up the fiction is to give up the belief in the sanctity of human life; and this is something that few people are prepared to do.’
      • ‘He'll use me as a reference and they will all think it's true and subscribe to the fiction.’
      untruth, falsehood, fib, fabrication, deception, made-up story, trumped-up story, fake news, invention, piece of fiction, fiction, falsification, falsity, fairy story, fairy tale, cock and bull story, barefaced lie
      View synonyms


Late Middle English (in the sense ‘invented statement’): via Old French from Latin fictio(n-), from fingere ‘form, contrive’. Compare with feign and figment.