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fic·tion (fĭkshən)
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n.
1.
a. The category of literature, drama, film, or other creative work whose content is imagined and is not necessarily based on fact.
b. Works in this category: the fiction of Virginia Woolf.
c. A work within this category: the shorter fictions of Faulkner.
2.
a. Narrative, explanatory material, or belief that is not true or has been imagined or fabricated: The notion that he was at the scene of the crime is pure fiction.
b. A narrative, explanation, or belief that may seem true but is false or fabricated: "Neutrality is a fiction in an unneutral world" (Howard Zinn).
3. Law A verbal contrivance that is in some sense inaccurate but that accomplishes a purpose, as in the treatment of husband and wife as one person or a corporation as an entity.

[Middle English ficcioun, from Old French fiction, from Latin fictiō, fictiōn-, from fictus, past participle of fingere, to form; see dheigh- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

fiction·al adj.
fiction·ali·ty (-shə-nălĭ-tē) n.
fiction·al·ly adv.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

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