from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The category of literature, drama, film, or other creative work whose content is imagined and is not necessarily based on fact.
  • noun Works in this category.
  • noun A work within this category.
  • noun Narrative, explanatory material, or belief that is not true or has been imagined or fabricated.
  • noun A narrative, explanation, or belief that may seem true but is false or fabricated.
  • noun Law A verbal contrivance that is in some sense inaccurate but that accomplishes a purpose, as in the treatment of husband and wife as one person or a corporation as an entity.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The act of making or fashioning.
  • noun The act of feigning, inventing, or imagining; a false deduction or conclusion: as, to be misled by a mere fiction of the brain.
  • noun That which is feigned, invented, or imagined; a feigned story; an account which is a product of mere imagination; a false statement.
  • noun In literature: A prose work (not dramatic) of the imagination in narrative form; a story; a novel.
  • noun Collectively, literature consisting of imaginative narration; story-telling.
  • noun In a wide sense, not now current, any literary product of the imagination, whether in prose or verse, or in a narrative or dramatic form, or such works collectively.
  • noun In law, the intentional assuming as a fact of what is not such (the truth of the matter not being considered), for the purpose of administering justice without contravening settled rules or making apparent exceptions; a legal device for reforming or extending the application of the law without appearing to alter the law itself.
  • noun Synonyms Fabrication, figment, fable, untruth, falsehood.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The act of feigning, inventing, or imagining.
  • noun That which is feigned, invented, or imagined; especially, a feigned or invented story, whether oral or written. Hence: A story told in order to deceive; a fabrication; -- opposed to fact, or reality.
  • noun Fictitious literature; comprehensively, all works of imagination; specifically, novels and romances.
  • noun (Law) An assumption of a possible thing as a fact, irrespective of the question of its truth.
  • noun Any like assumption made for convenience, as for passing more rapidly over what is not disputed, and arriving at points really at issue.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Literary type using invented or imaginative writing, instead of real facts, usually written as prose.
  • noun uncountable Invention.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a deliberately false or improbable account
  • noun a literary work based on the imagination and not necessarily on fact


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English ficcioun, from Old French fiction, from Latin fictiō, fictiōn-, from fictus, past participle of fingere, to form; see dheigh- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin fictionem, accusative of fictio ("a making, fashioning, a feigning, a rhetorical or legal fiction"), from fingere ("to form, mold, shape, devise, feign").


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  • "The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense."

    - Tom Clancy

    November 12, 2007

  • That must be why I'm not into Clancy's fiction.

    November 12, 2007

  • You like your fiction to *not* make sense?

    November 13, 2007

  • Yes - or at least, I like it not to think it has to.

    November 13, 2007