The Meaning of Fiction: What It Is and How To Use It

What’s a work of fiction? What’s the difference between fiction and nonfiction? We’re explaining the meaning of fiction and how to use this word.

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If something is referred to as a work of fiction, what does that mean? What is the difference between something that is fiction and something that is nonfiction? 

This article will define fiction and explore its origins. We’ll also provide example sentences that contain the word fiction, translations of the word fiction, and lists of synonyms and antonyms. 

Keep reading to learn all about fiction!

What Does the Word Fiction Mean?

According to Collins English Dictionary, fiction is a genre of media that refers to an invented story that is not real. The word fiction is two syllables (fic-tion), and the pronunciation of the word fiction is ˈfɪkʃən

The many genres of fiction encompass both prose and poetry. Fictional literary works can include short stories, novels, science fiction, fantasy, fables, romance novels, myths, mystery, novellas, popular fiction, horror, suspense, commercial fiction, fairy tales, allegories, and more. 

Nonfiction works contain real facts or are true stories, like dictionaries or memoirs.

What Is the Origin of the Word Fiction?

According to Dictionary, the word fiction is Old French in origin. This word was first used as the Middle English ficcioun. These come from the Latin fictiōn, a stem of fictiō and the past participle of fingere. The stem of these words, fictus, also gives us words like feign. 

How Can We Use Fiction in a Sentence?

Fiction is an excellent way to refer to stories that are invented or made up. To learn how to use fiction in a sentence, you can study these example sentences. It is important to know not only the definition of a word like fiction but also how to use it practically in real life.

Example #1: Favorite Fiction

Her favorite works of fiction were The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald and To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. She could read those books over and over again and never get bored.

Here, the word fiction refers to two famous novels that are fictional. What are your favorite fictional novels?

Example #2: Not a Fan of Fiction

He never felt like he could connect to works of fiction and preferred to read memoirs, news stories, and other nonfiction pieces.

If someone does not like fiction, they might prefer nonfiction. Do you prefer fiction or nonfiction pieces?

Example #3: Genres of Fiction

She was very picky about the genres of fiction that she read. She enjoyed reading fantasy and fables but steered clear of things like science fiction and horror.

There are many different genres of fiction that a person might enjoy. Fiction is not one size fits all, so it might take some experimenting to find your favorite genre. 

What Are Translations of Fiction?

Fiction is a genre of media that is popular all around the world! If you are interested in discussing genres or works of fiction with people who do not speak English, you can reference this list of translations from Nice Translator:

  • Hungarian: kitaláció
  • Chinese (Taiwan): 小說
  • Gujarati: કાલ્પનિક
  • Ukrainian: фантастика
  • Swedish: fiktion
  • Catalan: ficció
  • Amharic: ልብ ወለድ
  • Thai: นิยาย
  • Romanian: fictiune
  • Basque: irudientzia
  • Russian: вымысел
  • Chinese (PRC): 小说
  • Slovenian: fikcija
  • Arabic: خيال
  • Bengali: কথাসাহিত্য
  • Marathi: कथा
  • Japanese: フィクション
  • Welsh: ffuglen
  • Hebrew: ספרות בדיונית
  • Filipino: fiction
  • Croatian: fikcija
  • Polish: fikcja
  • Serbian: фикција
  • Portuguese (Brazil): ficção
  • Indonesian: fiksi
  • Latvian: daiļliteratūra
  • Korean: 소설
  • Czech: beletrie
  • Hindi: उपन्यास
  • Icelandic: skáldskapur
  • Tamil: கற்பனை
  • Slovak: fikcia
  • Urdu: فکشن
  • Bulgarian: измислица
  • Norwegian: skjønnlitteratur
  • German: Fiktion
  • Greek: μυθιστόρημα
  • Kannada: ಕಾದಂಬರಿ
  • Lithuanian: Grožinė literatūra
  • Turkish: kurgu
  • French: fiction
  • Telugu: ఫిక్షన్
  • Dutch: fictie
  • Estonian: ilukirjandus
  • Spanish: ficción
  • Finnish: fiktio
  • Portuguese (Portugal): ficção
  • Vietnamese: viễn tưởng
  • Malayalam: പരാമർശിക്കുക

What Are Synonyms of the Word Fiction?

The word fiction is associated with literary works. If you are looking to describe something that is fictional but isn’t a work of literature or media, you might want to use a synonym instead. To learn synonyms of the word fiction, you can reference this list of synonyms of fiction from Power Thesaurus.

  • anecdote
  • apologue
  • cock-and-bull story
  • concoction
  • creative writing
  • fable
  • fables
  • fabrication
  • fabrications
  • fairy story
  • fairy tale
  • falsehood
  • falsification
  • falsity
  • fancy
  • fantasy
  • fib
  • fibs
  • figment
  • fish story
  • half-truth
  • illusion
  • imagination
  • imaginative writing
  • invention
  • legend
  • lie
  • lies
  • misrepresentation
  • myth
  • narrative
  • nonsense
  • novel
  • novelette
  • novella
  • novels
  • parable
  • prevarication
  • prose literature
  • romance
  • sham
  • stories
  • story
  • storytelling
  • tale
  • tall story
  • tall tale
  • untruth
  • whopper
  • writing
  • yarn

What Are Antonyms of the Word Fiction?

Things that are the opposite of fiction are nonfiction or reality. If you are trying to describe something real or truthful, you can use an antonym of fiction. 

How many of these antonyms of fiction from Power Thesaurus do you know?

  • absolute truth
  • academic literature
  • accurate information
  • actual
  • actuality
  • actualness
  • biography
  • case
  • certain
  • certainty
  • chance of a lifetime
  • chance of your life
  • dinkum
  • documentary prose
  • encouragement
  • evidence
  • fact
  • factual knowledge
  • genuine
  • golden opportunity
  • golden ticket
  • great potential
  • historical fact
  • historical record
  • honesty
  • inside story
  • intrinsical
  • materiality
  • matter of fact
  • nonfiction
  • nonfiction prose
  • nonfiction
  • popular-scientific literature
  • rare opportunity
  • real
  • real life
  • realism
  • reality
  • realness
  • research literature
  • truth
  • verity


Fiction refers to media that was made up or invented, unlike the true tales found in nonfiction works. Fiction encompasses many genres, and many people worldwide love consuming fiction. What is your favorite genre of fiction? 


  1. Fiction synonyms – 549 Words and Phrases for Fiction | Power Thesaurus 
  2. Fiction antonyms – 142 Opposites of Fiction | Power Thesaurus 
  3. Fiction definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary 
  4. Fiction | 
  5. Fiction | Nice Translator