a. An imaginative creation or a pretense that does not represent actuality but has been invented.
b. The act of inventing such a creation or pretense.
- A lie.
a. A literary work whose content is produced by the imagination and is not necessarily based on fact.
b. The category of literature comprising works of this kind, including novels and short stories.
- Law Something untrue that is intentionally represented as true by the narrator.
Origin: Middle English ficcioun
Origin: , from Old French fiction
Origin: , from Latin fictiō, fictiōn-
Origin: , from fictus
Origin: , past participle of fingere, to form; see dheigh- in Indo-European roots
- ficˌtion·alˈi·ty (-shə-nălˈĭ-tē) noun
To most people “the latest fiction” means the latest novels or stories rather than the most recently invented pretense or latest lie. All three senses of the word fiction
point back to its source, Latin fictiō,
“the action of shaping, a feigning, that which is feigned.” Fictiō
in turn was derived from fingere,
“to make by shaping, feign, make up or invent a story or excuse.” Our first instance of fiction,
recorded in a work composed around 1412, was used in the sense “invention of the mind, that which is imaginatively invented.” It is not a far step from this meaning to the sense “imaginative literature,” first recorded in 1599.