[ non-fik-shuh n ]
/ nɒnˈfɪk ʃən /


the branch of literature comprising works of narrative prose dealing with or offering opinions or conjectures upon facts and reality, including biography, history, and the essay (opposed to fiction and distinguished from poetry and drama).
works of this class: She had read all of his novels but none of his nonfiction.
(especially in cataloging books, as in a library or bookstore) all writing or books not fiction, poetry, or drama, including nonfictive narrative prose and reference works; the broadest category of written works.

Origin of nonfiction

First recorded in 1905–10; non- + fiction
Related formsnon·fic·tion·al, adjectivenon·fic·tion·al·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for non-fiction

British Dictionary definitions for non-fiction


/ (ˌnɒnˈfɪkʃən) /


writing dealing with facts and events rather than imaginative narration
(modifier) relating to or denoting nonfiction
Derived Formsnonfictional, adjectivenonfictionally, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for non-fiction



also nonfiction, 1909 (non-fictional is from 1903), from non- + fiction.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper