[ fik-shuh-neer ]
/ ˌfɪk ʃəˈnɪər /
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a writer of fiction, especially a prolific one whose works are of mediocre quality.
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Origin of fictioneer

First recorded in 1920–25; fiction + -eer


fic·tion·eer·ing, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does fictioneer mean?

A fictioneer is a fiction writer, especially one who puts out a lot of work considered mediocre or low quality.

The word fictioneer is most often applied to writers who churn out the kind of stories usually found in cheap, mass-market paperbacks, especially ones that snobs consider lowbrow “genre fiction,” such as romance novels, mysteries, or science fiction. However, it can also be used in a more neutral way as simply another (more fun) word for a fiction writer.

Example: Many highly regarded novelists started their careers as fictioneers who wrote under pseudonyms and published anything they could to scrape together a living.

Where does fictioneer come from?

The term fictioneer is first recorded in English in the 1920s. It is made up of the word fiction, meaning “a work of imagination for entertainment purposes,” and the suffix -eer, which indicates a person who performs an action (as in auctioneer and engineer).

In its original sense, fictioneer simply referred to someone who wrote fiction to make a living. Over time, as pulp fiction and mass-market paperbacks became more popular, fictioneer became synonymous with hack, referring to prolific writers who produced stories quickly and one after another, often resulting in low quality work. Still, the term was and still is often used as a term of endearment, especially by those who enjoy the popular genres associated with the term.

Fictioneer is sometimes also applied to a nonfiction writer to imply that their accounts are exaggerated or made up.

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms of fictioneer?

  • fictioneering (noun)

What are some synonyms for fictioneer?

  • hack
  • fiction writer

What are some words that share a root or word element with fictioneer?


What are some words that often get used in discussing fictioneer?


What are some words fictioneer may be commonly confused with?



How is fictioneer used in real life?

Fictioneer can be used negatively, positively, or neutrally, depending on what one wants to say about a fiction writer and the quality of their work. Still, it is most often associated with writers who produce a lot of work.



Try using fictioneer!

True or false?

Fictioneer is always used as a derogatory (negative) term for a writer.

How to use fictioneer in a sentence

  • This fictioneer pursued the latest writings on physicist and chemical research so that he might embroider his tales therewith.