Definitions

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

  • n. An imaginative creation or a pretense that does not represent actuality but has been invented.
  • n. The act of inventing such a creation or pretense.
  • n. A lie.
  • n. A literary work whose content is produced by the imagination and is not necessarily based on fact.
  • n. The category of literature comprising works of this kind, including novels and short stories.
  • n. Law Something untrue that is intentionally represented as true by the narrator.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of feigning, inventing, or imagining.
  • n. 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.
  • n. Fictitious literature; comprehensively, all works of imagination; specifically, novels and romances.
  • n. An assumption of a possible thing as a fact, irrespective of the question of its truth.
  • n. Any like assumption made for convenience, as for passing more rapidly over what is not disputed, and arriving at points really at issue.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The act of making or fashioning.
  • n. The act of feigning, inventing, or imagining; a false deduction or conclusion: as, to be misled by a mere fiction of the brain.
  • n. That which is feigned, invented, or imagined; a feigned story; an account which is a product of mere imagination; a false statement.
  • n. In literature: A prose work (not dramatic) of the imagination in narrative form; a story; a novel.
  • n. Collectively, literature consisting of imaginative narration; story-telling.
  • n. 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.
  • n. 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.
  • n. Synonyms Fabrication, figment, fable, untruth, falsehood.

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

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

Etymologies

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.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin fictionem, accusative of fictio ("a making, fashioning, a feigning, a rhetorical or legal fiction"), from fingere ("to form, mold, shape, devise, feign"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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

    November 13, 2007

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

    November 13, 2007

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

    November 12, 2007

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

    November 12, 2007