Something fictive is made up, straight from someone's imagination. A con artist might create a fictive persona in order to dupe a rich heiress.

Along with fictitious and fictional, fictive is an adjective related to fiction. They all come from the Latin word fictus meaning "to form," because they have to do with things formed in the imagination. Calling something or someone fictive suggests it has been invented for a special purpose, such as a character in a story that makes a point about society in general. Anthropologists are also fans of the word fictive: if you have an Aunt Mary but she's not technically your aunt, then she's what is known as "fictive kin."

Definitions of fictive
  1. adjective
    capable of imaginative creation
    fictive talent”
    creative, originative
    having the ability or power to create, especially something new or imaginative
  2. adjective
    adopted in order to deceive
    fictive sympathy”
    synonyms: assumed, false, fictitious, pretended, put on, sham
    counterfeit, imitative
    not genuine; imitating something superior
Commonly confused words

fictional / fictitious / fictive

Fictional, fictive, and fictitious all branch off the "fiction" tree, but fictional is literary, fictive is specific, and fictitious is just plain fake.

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Word Family

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