Definition of narrative in English:

narrative

noun

  • 1A spoken or written account of connected events; a story.

    ‘a gripping narrative’
    • ‘These were Maori narratives written and read from the position of living in a European country.’
    • ‘Their narratives were accounts of how a democratic state had been achieved.’
    • ‘Many narratives have also been written in more conventional language and forms by Aboriginal authors.’
    • ‘They opt instead for narratives that tell half of the story and narratives that tell an untrue story.’
    • ‘An event occurs, and it slowly becomes encrusted with narratives about what happened.’
    • ‘He contends that the mass media help to spread the narratives of history and everyday life which bind people together as a nation.’
    • ‘Such grand narratives frequently obscure the sequence of events they are struggling to explain.’
    • ‘They also provide a compelling personal narrative of his life.’
    • ‘Part of this admirably straightforward narrative was written, but not published, as a study for the commission.’
    • ‘Consequently, readers seeking a more traditional chronological narrative of political events might need to look elsewhere.’
    • ‘Mixing legend and history, he provides a coherent narrative based upon traditional materials.’
    • ‘So in other words, they're using the biblical gospel narratives in a symbolic way in these novels.’
    • ‘Similarly, he acknowledges that the slave narratives were always survivors' stories.’
    • ‘A realist third-person narrative, its critical irony comes through in the novel's ambiguous, multivalent ending.’
    • ‘However, the author's first-person narrative evaporates when the action happens over the horizon.’
    • ‘We are even more dependent on Rose's selectivity with the pool of first-person narratives.’
    • ‘His prose narratives, too, were bestsellers till the 18th century.’
    • ‘The film's narrative tries to uncover just exactly what his role was.’
    • ‘There are, then, three narrative strands.’
    • ‘A five-minute coda tries to wrap up, while leaving nearly all the narrative threads hanging.’
    account, story, tale, chronicle, history, description, record, portrayal, sketch, portrait, statement, report, rehearsal, recital, rendering
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    1. 1.1mass noun The narrated part of a literary work, as distinct from dialogue.
      ‘the dialogue and the narrative suffer from awkward syntax’
      • ‘These struggles were only the beginning, as similar feelings about dialogue and narrative nagged the back of my mind.’
      • ‘It spools out and out of my mouth, narrative, dialogue and commentary.’
      • ‘I was brought in to, essentially, write some voice-over dialogue and narrative for it, to buttress the story.’
      • ‘She's very good at dialogue, and the high ratio of talk to narrative is one reason why her stuff is so readable.’
      • ‘It is into this chronological narrative that he interlards verbatim dialogue, transcriptions and notations of the songs.’
      • ‘The book is a compilation of Biblical narrative, rabbinic legends, prayers, homilies and songs.’
      • ‘So, the film is all about the triumph of spectacle over narrative, but sometimes you need just a little bit of narrative to make things worth while.’
      • ‘The story CDs, which are on sale over the internet for £9.99, are made up of narrative, rhymes and songs.’
      • ‘Though carefully documented, the book primarily weaves strong narratives filled with lively anecdotes.’
      • ‘Altogether there are thirty-three narratives and twenty-two opinion statements.’
      • ‘These various narratives are weaved in with combat footage and historical analysis.’
    2. 1.2mass noun The practice or art of telling stories.
      ‘traditions of oral narrative’
      • ‘The short story cycle looks back to oral traditions of narrative while embodying signs of modernity.’
      • ‘It didn't just object to certain kinds of story, but to narrative in general as a promoter of illusion.’
      • ‘In the realm of mythic narrative, the same stories keep getting reincarnated.’
      • ‘His chief area of expertise, and the subject he taught when the School became a teaching department, was oral narrative.’
      • ‘That being said, I'm all for a good story, but narrative and story are two different things.’
      • ‘But it is the interest in fictional narrative that comes through most strongly.’
      • ‘It does this by creating an atmosphere that is closer to poetry than to traditional prose narrative.’
      • ‘Just as every story needs a preface, a truly erudite narrative simply cannot do without an introduction.’
      • ‘He does not dress them up with narrative; there is no story, just a jangle of exposed nerve endings.’
      • ‘You can define narrative to make it the story or to make it the whole, and you can emphasise different aspects.’
      • ‘It has lots of different strands of narrative which come together in a complete story.’
      • ‘I have lately been thinking about the lasting effects of modernism and science on religious narrative.’
      • ‘Perhaps my own tendency to sit with narrative rather than poetry leads me in this direction.’
      • ‘Nonfiction narrative is to my mind a higher art because the writer has far more demands put on them by the known facts.’
      • ‘When I refer to narrative, I'm talking about story telling and delivery of a story.’
      • ‘These pieces depend on narrative for their lives, animated by the stories we tell about them.’
      • ‘They have yet to find a way of really telling a good story rather than just using narrative as a vehicle to get them from one visual gag to another.’
      • ‘The plot of history may not always be as credible as fictional narrative, but it can be just as fascinating.’
      • ‘She says none of the five bite-sized operas is trying to break from traditional narrative.’
      • ‘Here is a man who understands the cinematic image, not just as vacuous glamour but as narrative and poetry.’
    3. 1.3A representation of a particular situation or process in such a way as to reflect or conform to an overarching set of aims or values.
      ‘the coalition's carefully constructed narrative about its sensitivity to recession victims’
      • ‘The bigger picture, however, is of a prime minister and a government that want to be more self-confident but are frustrated at the failure of their 'narrative' to find a more receptive audience.’
      • ‘Labour needs to find a new narrative. And the Conservatives must stick to their story.’
      • ‘Constructing an expansive environmental narrative enabled activists to find new ways to seek, and sometimes achieve, long-standing political goals.’
      • ‘This is a simple story that fits nicely into the overall narrative the President has been using already.’
      • ‘It will also depend on the way we conceptualize him and where he fits into our own global narrative.’
      • ‘The Louisiana chief executive is impossible to dismiss out of hand because he fits into several narratives that make him appealing to conservatives and to independent voters.’
      • ‘The history of the country as a whole "does not fit easily into a standard narrative of democracy" - assuming that there is anything like a "standard narrative of democracy".’
      • ‘American triumph at the end of World War II could reaffirm the master narrative of American conquest.’
      • ‘Official American history diminishes or erases completely these bodies in its ideal narratives of progress.’
      • ‘American constitutional history was dominated by a whiggish narrative in which progressive forces consistently supportive of civil rights and civil liberties triumphed over the dark forces of reaction.’
      • ‘Can it really be right to have children when they'll grow up in a world dominated by narratives of social and environmental catastrophe?’
      • ‘Journalists may love to break news, but they hate to contradict the narratives that crystallize around particular politicians or policies.’
      • ‘Especially in this country, we have allowed the development of a narrative in the media which privileges suspicion of domestic politicians over the understanding of global movements.’
      • ‘Historians and politicians skillfully crafted the narrative of an active middle class who (in retrospect) had heroically waged the revolutionary struggle.’
      • ‘He was a politician who fatally lacked a grasp of the importance of having a narrative to inspire supporters and enthuse the electorate.’
      • ‘The point is that with new governments, what we've come to regard as their narrative generally tends to become evident after the event.’
      • ‘The "narrative" that the President was under-achieving "would largely go away", he thought, particularly when health care reform passed.’
      • ‘The party hopes the raft of policy announcements this week will show that their leader is developing a coherent and imaginative "narrative" that will define his general election campaign.’

adjective

  • In the form of or concerned with narration.

    ‘a narrative poem’
    ‘narrative technique’
    • ‘But that would have been owed to his two great narrative poems, rather than his plays.’
    • ‘I would have probably continued reading this for the narrative techniques.’
    • ‘But that would have been owed to his two great narrative poems, rather than his plays.’
    • ‘Perhaps more surprising than its efficiency as propaganda is the film's excellence as narrative cinema.’
    • ‘So it would be okay to inject more narrative drive into the story.’
    • ‘A review, like a novel, has a narrative arc to it.’
    • ‘You can view the whole thing as performance art with hints of narrative structure.’
    • ‘In essence, it is hard to grasp a true narrative thread in this book.’
    • ‘But somehow we've lost the narrative thread that ties it all together.’
    • ‘As resistant as this is to the imposition of narrative coherence, a feminist ethos is unmistakable.’
    • ‘And I am very happy that you like my characterization, and narrative style.’
    • ‘His range has expanded into tackling corners of history and mythology through long narrative stanzas and monologues.’
    • ‘The first 11 chapters of Genesis are generally taken as narrative history by young earth creationists.’
    • ‘Human curiosity seems the obvious answer, and eavesdropping creates that narrative lack which provokes curiosity.’
    • ‘A few more narrative tracks would have maybe filled in this information nicely.’
    • ‘The middle stretch of poems do have slightly more narrative content or something.’
    • ‘The real narrative subtext here is the restoration of family and the recuperation of a nation and its history.’
    • ‘Much narrative theory explores different ways of conceiving these variables.’
    • ‘She is so incidental in her one narrative appearance that she is scarcely noticed.’
    • ‘First, it is too general to be of any use in distinguishing one narrative genre from another.’

Origin

Late Middle English (as an adjective): from French narratif, -ive, from late Latin narrativus ‘telling a story’, from the verb narrare (see narrate).

Pronunciation

narrative

/ˈnarətɪv/