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late 14c., "something invented," from Old French ficcion (13c.) "dissimulation, ruse; invention," and directly from Latin fictionem (nominative fictio) "a fashioning or feigning," noun of action from past participle stem of fingere "to shape, form, devise, feign," originally "to knead, form out of clay," from PIE *dheigh- (cf. Old English dag "dough;" see dough). As a branch of literature, 1590s.
literature created from the imagination, not presented as fact, though it may be based on a true story or situation. Types of literature in the fiction genre include the novel, short story, and novella. The word is from the Latin fictio, "the act of making, fashioning, or molding."