1. the class of literature comprising works of imaginative narration, especially in prose form.
  2. works of this class, as novels or short stories: detective fiction.
  3. something feigned, invented, or imagined; a made-up story: We’ve all heard the fiction of her being in delicate health.
  4. the act of feigning, inventing, or imagining.
  5. an imaginary thing or event, postulated for the purposes of argument or explanation.
  6. Law. an allegation that a fact exists that is known not to exist, made by authority of law to bring a case within the operation of a rule of law.


  1. literary works invented by the imagination, such as novels or short stories
  2. an invented story or explanation; lie
  3. the act of inventing a story or explanation
  4. law something assumed to be true for the sake of convenience, though probably false

late 14c., “something invented,” from Old French ficcion (13c.) “dissimulation, ruse; invention,” and directly from Latin fictionem (nominative fictio) “a fashioning or feigning,” noun of action from past participle stem of fingere “to shape, form, devise, feign,” originally “to knead, form out of clay,” from PIE *dheigh- (cf. Old English dag “dough;” see dough). As a branch of literature, 1590s.

Literature that is a work of the imagination and is not necessarily based on fact. Some examples of modern works of fiction are The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov.

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