Definition of fiction noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈfɪkʃn//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈfɪkʃn//
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  1. 1 [uncountable] a type of literature that describes imaginary people and events, not real ones a work of popular fiction historical/romantic fiction opposite non-fiction CollocationsLiteratureBeing a writer write/​publish literature/​poetry/​fiction/​a book/​a story/​a poem/​a novel/​a review/​an autobiography become a writer/​novelist/​playwright find/​have a publisher/​an agent have a new book out edit/​revise/​proofread a book/​text/​manuscript dedicate a book/​poem to…Plot, character and atmosphere construct/​create/​weave/​weave something into a complex narrative advance/​drive the plot introduce/​present the protagonist/​a character describe/​depict/​portray a character (as…)/(somebody as) a hero/​villain create an exciting/​a tense atmosphere build/​heighten the suspense/​tension evoke/​capture the pathos of the situation convey emotion/​an idea/​an impression/​a sense of… engage the reader seize/​capture/​grip the (reader’s) imagination arouse/​elicit emotion/​sympathy (in the reader) lack imagination/​emotion/​structure/​rhythmLanguage, style and imagery use/​employ language/​imagery/​humour/(especially US English) humor/​an image/​a symbol/​a metaphor/​a device use/​adopt/​develop a style/​technique be rich in/​be full of symbolism evoke images of…/a sense of…/a feeling of… create/​achieve an effect maintain/​lighten the tone introduce/​develop an idea/​a theme inspire a novel/​a poet/​somebody’s work/​somebody’s imaginationReading and criticism read an author/​somebody’s work/​fiction/​poetry/​a text/​a poem/​a novel/​a chapter/​a passage review a book/​a novel/​somebody’s work give something/​get/​have/​receive a good/​bad review be hailed (as)/be recognized as a masterpiece quote a(n) phrase/​line/​stanza/​passage/​author provoke/​spark discussion/​criticism study/​interpret/​understand a text/​passage translate somebody’s work/​a text/​a passage/​a novel/​a poem see also science fiction Wordfinderauthor, book, classic, critic, drama, fiction, genre, literature, poetry, write
  2. 2[countable, uncountable] a thing that is invented or imagined and is not true For years he managed to keep up the fiction that he was not married.
  3. Word Originlate Middle English (in the sense ‘invented statement’): via Old French from Latin fictio(n-), from fingere ‘form, contrive’. Compare with feign and figment.Extra examples Fact and fiction became all jumbled up in his report of the robbery. He has written over 20 works of fiction. She has written novels and short fiction. She still tries to maintain the fiction that she is happily married. a well-known writer of crime fiction Don’t believe what she says—it’s pure fiction!Idioms
    truth is stranger than fiction
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    (saying) used to say that things that actually happen are often more surprising than stories that are invented
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: fiction