View synonyms for fictive


[ fik-tiv ]


  1. fictitious; imaginary.
  2. pertaining to the creation of fiction:

    fictive inventiveness.


/ ˈfɪktɪv /


  1. of, relating to, or able to create fiction
  2. a rare word for fictitious

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Derived Forms

  • ˈfictively, adverb

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Other Words From

  • fictive·ly adverb
  • non·fictive adjective
  • non·fictive·ly adverb

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Word History and Origins

Origin of fictive1

First recorded in 1485–95; fict(ion) + -ive

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Example Sentences

Anything else is an “entirely fictive alternate reality” where people who disagree with him “neurotically retreat.”

My goal (not my achievement, my goal) was to work like Joan Didion in a fictive realm.

And there is another, unexpected reason a series like NYC Prep seems more fictive than genuine.

She made even the true seem fictive, while Miriam's effort was to make the fictive true.

Its grossness must be transposed, as it were, to a fictive scale, a scale of fainter tints and generalized signs.

Of this part of the Gospel, Loisy says, 'rien n'est plus arbitraire comme exégèse, ni plus faible comme narration fictive.'

I question if there is another fictive utterance to surpass this one in authenticity.

I was for the time entirely the historian, with little time to dream of the fictive material with which my memory was filled.


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Fictive Vs. Fictional Vs. Fictitious

What’s the difference between fictive, fictional, and fictitious?

Fictive is an uncommonly used word that means imaginary or relating to or capable of creating fiction, as in a fictive imagination. 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. Fictitious most commonly means false or made up, as in I signed in with a fictitious name to hide my identity.

Confusingly, their meanings can overlap—fictive can sometimes mean the same thing as fictitious, and fictitious can sometimes mean the same thing as fictional. 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. Fictional is almost always applied to stories and characters that are part of creative works, like books and movies, whereas fictitious is most commonly used in the context of things that are made up to conceal something or deceive someone in real life. Fictitious can usually be replaced with the word fake—this is not the case for fictional.

Here’s an example of fictive, fictional, and fictitious 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 fictive, fictional, and fictitious.

Quiz yourself on fictive vs. fictional vs. fictitious!

Should fictive, fictional, or fictitious be used in the following sentence?

The characters in this film are purely _____—any resemblance to real persons is entirely coincidental.

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fictitious personficus