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Fictitious vs. Fictional: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 29, 2023
Fictitious generally means not real or false, often used to describe fabricated details or entities, while Fictional refers specifically to creations within the realm of literature or art.
Fictitious vs. Fictional

Key Differences

Fictitious often implies something made up or fabricated, typically used in contexts outside of literature, like in legal or everyday scenarios. Fictional, on the other hand, is specifically used to describe characters, events, or settings created in the realm of storytelling or art.
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A Fictitious name or entity might be created for anonymity or deceptive purposes. In contrast, a Fictional character is crafted for narrative purposes in novels, films, or other artistic creations.
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The term Fictitious can carry a connotation of deceit when used to describe fabricated facts in real-life situations. Fictional is neutral, indicating that something is part of a creative work and not meant to deceive.
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Fictitious entities, like companies or identities, might be created for fraud or privacy protection. Fictional elements are understood to be part of a narrative, often used to convey themes or messages.
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In legal terms, Fictitious can refer to assumed names registered for conducting business. Fictional is a term used in literary criticism and analysis to discuss aspects of creative works.
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Comparison Chart

Primary Usage

Fabricated, not genuine
Pertaining to creative storytelling
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Contextual Application

Legal, everyday situations
Literature, art, and entertainment
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Connotation

Sometimes deceptive or for privacy
Neutral, part of artistic creation
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Purpose

Anonymity, fraud, or privacy protection
Narrative development, thematic expression
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Association

Real-world scenarios, legal entities
Imaginary worlds, characters, and stories
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Fictitious and Fictional Definitions

Fictitious

Created for deception or fraud.
The fictitious identity was used to commit fraud.
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Fictional

Relating to characters or events that are made up.
Her latest novel features a complex fictional character.
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Fictitious

Assumed or artificial, not genuinely existing.
He used a fictitious name to write his novels.
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Fictional

Pertaining to the creation of stories or narratives.
The fictional world of Middle-earth is captivating.
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Fictitious

Imaginary, but not necessarily in a literary context.
The story was filled with fictitious events.
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Fictional

Nonexistent in the real world but in stories or media.
The fictional universe of the series has many fans.
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Fictitious

Not real or true, made up for a specific purpose.
The report was based on fictitious data.
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Fictional

Existing only in literature or art, not in reality.
Sherlock Holmes is a fictional detective.
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Fictitious

Fabricated for legal or privacy reasons.
The company operated under a fictitious name.
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Fictional

The category of literature, drama, film, or other creative work whose content is imagined and is not necessarily based on fact.
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Fictitious

Concocted or fabricated, especially in order to deceive or mislead; make up
A fictitious name.
Fictitious transactions.
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Fictional

Works in this category
The fiction of Virginia Woolf.
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Fictitious

Of or relating to the characters, settings, or plots that are created for a work of fiction
A book in which fictitious characters interact with historical figures.
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Fictional

A work within this category
The shorter fictions of Faulkner.
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Fictitious

Invented; contrived.
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Fictional

Narrative, explanatory material, or belief that is not true or has been imagined or fabricated
The notion that he was at the scene of the crime is pure fiction.
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Fictitious

Feigned; imaginary; not real; fabulous; counterfeit; false; not genuine; as, fictitious fame.
The human persons are as fictitious as the airy ones.
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Fictional

A narrative, explanation, or belief that may seem true but is false or fabricated
"Neutrality is a fiction in an unneutral world" (Howard Zinn).
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Fictitious

Formed or conceived by the imagination;
A fabricated excuse for his absence
A fancied wrong
A fictional character
Used fictitious names
A made-up story
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Fictional

(Law) A verbal contrivance that is in some sense inaccurate but that accomplishes a purpose, as in the treatment of husband and wife as one person or a corporation as an entity.
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Fictitious

Adopted in order to deceive;
An assumed name
An assumed cheerfulness
A fictitious address
Fictive sympathy
A pretended interest
A put-on childish voice
Sham modesty
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Fictional

Invented, as opposed to real.
Romeo and Juliet are fictional characters.
The janitor's account of the crime turned out to be entirely fictional.
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Fictional

Containing invented elements.
The Simpsons is a fictional television show.
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Fictional

Pertaining to, or characterized by, fiction; fictitious; romantic.
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Fictional

Related to or involving literary fiction;
Clever fictional devices
A fictional treatment of the train robbery
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Fictional

Formed or conceived by the imagination;
A fabricated excuse for his absence
A fancied wrong
A fictional character
Used fictitious names
A made-up story
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Fictional

Used in the context of creative or imaginative works.
The movie is based on a fictional account of the war.
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Repeatedly Asked Queries

Can fictitious be used legally?

Yes, for assumed names or entities in legal contexts.
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Are fictional characters real?

No, they exist only within stories or artistic works.
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What does fictitious mean?

Fictitious means not real or fabricated, often for a specific purpose.
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Are fictional events true?

No, they are created for the purpose of storytelling.
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Does fictitious imply deception?

Sometimes, especially when used to describe false information.
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Is fictional related to literature?

Yes, fictional pertains to creations in literature or art.
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What's a fictional world?

An imaginary setting created in books, movies, or games.
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What distinguishes a fictional story?

Its imaginative creation and lack of real-world existence.
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Is using a fictitious name common in writing?

Many authors use pen names for various reasons.
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Can fictitious elements be in non-fiction?

Only as hypothetical examples or creative expression.
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Can fictitious be positive?

It can be neutral, like using a pen name for privacy.
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What's a fictitious business name?

A name used for business that's not the legal name.
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Can fictional narratives be educational?

Yes, they often explore themes and ideas.
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What's the purpose of fictional genres?

To categorize different styles and themes in storytelling.
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Is a fictitious name illegal?

Not always, unless used for fraudulent purposes.
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How are fictional characters developed?

Through creative writing and character-building.
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Do fictional works reflect reality?

They can, but through an imaginative or creative lens.
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Are fictitious accounts harmful?

They can be, especially if intended to mislead.
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Can fictitious be used in science?

Yes, in hypothetical scenarios or models.
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Are all fictional works novels?

No, they can be films, plays, games, etc.
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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
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Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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