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



    BrE BrE//ˈnærətɪv//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈnærətɪv//
    (formal) Elements of a story
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  1. 1[countable] a description of events, especially in a novel synonym story a gripping narrative of their journey up the Amazon 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 related entries: Elements of a story
  2. 2[uncountable] the act, process or skill of telling a story The novel contains too much dialogue and not enough narrative.
  3. Word Origin late Middle English (as an adjective): from French narratif, -ive, from late Latin narrativus ‘telling a story’, from the verb narrare (from gnarus ‘knowing’).Extra examples It’s difficult to construct a narrative out of a series of fast-moving events. She has woven a strong personal narrative filled with lively anecdotes. The author interrupts her narrative to tell us that the idea for the book had not been well received. The author weaves into this narrative many entertaining historical facts. The book is written in the style of first-person narrative. The movie has a very traditional linear narrative. This book offers no coherent narrative of the American Civil War. events in the narrative interruptions to the narrative flow the dominant narrative of the Cold War the grand narratives of history She has written a gripping narrative of their journey up the Amazon.

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