A fiction is a deliberately fabricated account of something. It can also be a literary work based on imagination rather than on fact, like a novel or short story.

The Latin word fictus means “to form,” which seems like a good source for the English word fiction, since fiction is formed in the imagination. Like its literary cousins fable, legend, and myth, however, fiction has a slightly darker additional meaning: a deliberate lie or untruth. When we talk about "the line between fact and fiction," we're talking about the difference between truth and lies.

Definitions of fiction

n a literary work based on the imagination and not necessarily on fact

Pilgrim's Progress
an allegory written by John Bunyan in 1678
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a work of fiction describing an imaginary place where life is extremely bad because of deprivation or oppression or terror
an extended fictional work in prose; usually in the form of a story
fantasy, phantasy
fiction with a large amount of imagination in it
a piece of fiction that narrates a chain of related events
a work of fiction describing a utopia
detective novel, mystery novel
novel in which the reader is challenged to solve a puzzle before the detective explains it at the end
dime novel, penny dreadful
a melodramatic paperback novel
science fiction
literary fantasy involving the imagined impact of science on society
novelette, novella
a short novel
roman a clef
a novel in which actual persons and events are disguised as fictional characters
a novel dealing with idealized events remote from everyday life
roman fleuve
a French novel in the form of a long chronicle of a family or other social group
adventure story, heroic tale
a story of an adventure
mystery, mystery story, whodunit
a story about a crime (usually murder) presented as a novel or play or movie
love story, romance
a story dealing with love
fable, legend
a story about mythical or supernatural beings or events
short story
a prose narrative shorter than a novel
allegory, apologue, fable, parable
a short moral story (often with animal characters)
a traditional story accepted as history; serves to explain the world view of a people
(New Testament) any of the stories told by Jesus to convey his religious message
the story that is told in a novel or play or movie etc.
Type of:
literary composition, literary work
imaginative or creative writing

n a deliberately false or improbable account

fable, fabrication
a deliberately misleading fabrication
Type of:
falsehood, falsity, untruth
a false statement

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