Definition of fiction in US English:

fiction

noun

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

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

Pronunciation

fiction

/ˈfɪkʃ(ə)n//ˈfikSH(ə)n/