Origin of fictitious
OTHER WORDS FROM fictitious
Words nearby fictitious
FICTITIOUS VS. FICTIONAL VS. FICTIVE
What’s the difference between fictitious, fictional, and fictive?
Fictitious most commonly means false or made up, as in I signed in with a fictitious name to hide my identity. Fictional means invented as part of a work of fiction, as in Sherlock Holmes is a fictional detective or This account is entirely fictional—it’s not based on a true story. Fictive is a much less commonly used word that means imaginary or relating to or capable of creating fiction, as in a fictive imagination.
Confusingly, their meanings can overlap—fictitious can sometimes mean the same thing as fictional, and fictive can sometimes mean the same thing as fictitious. It can be tough to remember which word is the right one to use since all three are adjectives that are used in contexts involving things that are imagined or made up.
Still, they are usually used in pretty specific ways. Fictitious is most commonly used in the context of things that are made up to conceal something or deceive someone in real life, whereas fictional is almost always applied to stories and characters that are part of creative works, like books and movies. Fictitious can usually be replaced with the word fake—this is not the case for fictional.
Here’s an example of fictitious, fictional, and fictive used correctly in the same sentence.
Example: Instead of using fictitious names that no one would notice, his aliases were the names of fictional characters, like Clark Kent and Peter Parker—you would think a con artist would have a more fictive imagination.
Want to learn more? Read the full breakdown of the difference between fictitious, fictional, and fictive.
Quiz yourself on fictitious vs. fictional vs. fictive!
Should fictitious, fictional, or fictive be used in the following sentence?
The characters in this film are purely _____—any resemblance to real persons is entirely coincidental.
How to use fictitious in a sentence
She created three fictitious email addresses to submit the complaints, Zeidenberg said, and occasionally slipped up, for instance signing an email purporting to be from one researcher with the name of another.Kansas professor says FBI misled court in alleging hidden ties to Chinese government|Ellen Nakashima|August 24, 2021|Washington Post
Working as a contractor at a social security administration office, he caught his bosses creating fictitious aid recipients and pocketing payments, according to his New York lawyer, Li Jinjin, who also goes by Jim Li.Operation Fox Hunt: How China Exports Repression Using a Network of Spies Hidden in Plain Sight|by Sebastian Rotella and Kirsten Berg|July 22, 2021|ProPublica
It wrote that “extensive research reveals that the company’s orders appear largely fictitious and used as a prop to raise capital and confer legitimacy.”Department of Justice opens investigation into EV startup Lordstown Motors|Aria Alamalhodaei|July 2, 2021|TechCrunch
Deputy Anthony Sharp, 33, and his trainee Robert Osborne, 30, noticed “fictitious tags” on Bumpass’ car, according to the Sheriff’s Office.Cops Say He Killed Himself During a Traffic Stop. His Family Says It’s Murder.|Andrew Boryga|May 28, 2021|The Daily Beast
It’s a deluge of fictitious monsters running amok in forests, caves, and under the sea, ripe with hidden pathways for rare glimpses and an overly critical scientist who definitely didn’t go to art school.I’ve Gotta Hand It to Nintendo—They Did Pokemon Snap Right|Jillian Lucas|May 21, 2021|The Daily Beast
A twinned, imagined narrative of a fictitious Fidel Castro and a Miami exile intent on assassinating him.
It might seem obvious to say that novels are “fictitious,” but certain ones are composed almost entirely of facts.
“Eventually he appointed me to the fictitious position of ‘legal adviser,’” Levin said.Radio’s Mark Levin Might Be the Most Powerful Conservative You Never Heard Of|David Freedlander|October 19, 2013|DAILY BEAST
But all this fictitious boning has real consequences, of the Teen Mom variety.50 Shades of Fall TV: New Girl, Scandal, and More Television Fan Fiction|Amy Zimmerman|October 16, 2013|DAILY BEAST
Even in the Showtime series Weeds, a fictitious tobacco company looked to pot as its future growth industry.
Who wants to peruse fictitious adventures, when railroads and steamboats woo him to adventures of his own?
The quadroon was following them with little quick steps, having assumed a fictitious animation and alacrity for the occasion.
He was tall and thin, and wore his coats padded, which gave a fictitious breadth and depth to his shoulders and chest.
Sometimes fictitious subscriptions are made to induce others to subscribe for stock.Putnam's Handy Law Book for the Layman|Albert Sidney Bolles
But I am anxious to make three inquiries relative to this really important document and its fictitious preface.