What does narrative mean?

Definitions for narrative
ˈnær ə tɪvnar·ra·tive

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word narrative.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. narrative, narration, story, taleadjective

    a message that tells the particulars of an act or occurrence or course of events; presented in writing or drama or cinema or as a radio or television program

    "his narrative was interesting"; "Disney's stories entertain adults as well as children"

  2. narrativeadjective

    consisting of or characterized by the telling of a story

    "narrative poetry"


  1. narrativenoun

    The systematic recitation of an event or series of events.

  2. narrativenoun

    That which is narrated.

  3. narrativeadjective

    Telling a story.

  4. narrativeadjective

    Being overly talkative; garrulous.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Narrativeadjective

    Etymology: narratif-ve, Fr. from narro, Lat.

    The words of all judicial acts are written narratively, unless it be in sentences dispositive and enacting; therefore credit ought to be given to these acts, though the words be narrative. John Ayliffe, Parergon.

    Age, as Davenant says, is always narrative. Dryden.

    The poor, the rich, the valiant and the sage,
    And boasting youth, and narrative old age. Alexander Pope.

  2. Narrativenoun

    A relation; an account; a story.

    In the instructions I here give to others, concerning what they should do, take a narrative of what you have done. Robert South, Sermons.

    Cynthio was much taken with my narrative. Tatler, №. 58.


  1. Narrative

    A narrative, story, or tale is any account of a series of related events or experiences, whether nonfictional (memoir, biography, news report, documentary, travelogue, etc.) or fictional (fairy tale, fable, legend, thriller, novel, etc.). Narratives can be presented through a sequence of written or spoken words, through still or moving images, or through any combination of these. The word derives from the Latin verb narrare (to tell), which is derived from the adjective gnarus (knowing or skilled). Narration (i.e., the process of presenting a narrative) is a rhetorical mode of discourse, broadly defined (and paralleling argumentation, description, and exposition), is one of four rhetorical modes of discourse. More narrowly defined, it is the fiction-writing mode in which a narrator communicates directly to an audience. The school of literary criticism known as Russian formalism has applied methods that are more often used to analyse narrative fiction, to non-fictional texts such as political speeches.Oral storytelling is the earliest method for sharing narratives. During most people's childhoods, narratives are used to guide them on proper behavior, cultural history, formation of a communal identity, and values, as especially studied in anthropology today among traditional indigenous peoples.Narrative is found in all forms of human creativity, art, and entertainment, including speech, literature, theatre, music and song, comics, journalism, film, television and video, video games, radio, game-play, unstructured recreation, and performance in general, as well as some painting, sculpture, drawing, photography, and other visual arts, as long as a sequence of events is presented. Several art movements, such as modern art, refuse the narrative in favor of the abstract and conceptual. Narrative can be organized into a number of thematic or formal categories: nonfiction (such as creative nonfiction, biography, journalism, transcript poetry, and historiography); fictionalization of historical events (such as anecdote, myth, legend, and historical fiction) and fiction proper (such as literature in the form of prose and sometimes poetry, short stories, novels, narrative poems and songs, and imaginary narratives as portrayed in other textual forms, games, or live or recorded performances). Narratives may also be nested within other narratives, such as narratives told by an unreliable narrator (a character) typically found in the genre of noir fiction. An important part of many narratives is its narrative mode, the set of methods used to communicate the narrative through a written or spoken commentary (see also "Aesthetics approach" below).


  1. narrative

    A narrative is a story or account of events, experiences, or observations, presented in a sequential manner and often involving characters or settings. It can be fictional or non-fictional, and aims to convey a specific message or engage the audience in an immersive and cohesive storytelling experience.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Narrativeadjective

    of or pertaining to narration; relating to the particulars of an event or transaction

  2. Narrativeadjective

    apt or inclined to relate stories, or to tell particulars of events; story-telling; garrulous

  3. Narrativenoun

    that which is narrated; the recital of a story; a continuous account of the particulars of an event or transaction; a story

  4. Etymology: [Cf. F. narratif.]


  1. Narrative

    A narrative is any account that presents connected events, and may be organized into various categories: non-fiction; fictionalized accounts of historical events; and fiction proper. Narrative is found in all forms of human creativity and art, including speech, writing, songs, film, television, video games, photography, theatre, and visual arts such as painting that describes a sequence of events. The word derives from the Latin verb narrare, "to tell", and is related to the adjective gnarus, "knowing" or "skilled". The word "story" may be used as a synonym of "narrative". It can also be used to refer to the sequence of events described in a narrative. Narratives may also be nested within other narratives, such as narratives told by unreliable narrator typically found in noir fiction genre. An important part of narration is the narrative mode, the set of methods used to communicate the narrative through a process narration.

British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'narrative' in Nouns Frequency: #2656

How to pronounce narrative?

How to say narrative in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of narrative in Chaldean Numerology is: 9

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of narrative in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9

Examples of narrative in a Sentence

  1. Mark Campanale:

    We weren’t thinking of a political narrative at all, we said there are risks riddled across the system, and that the answer to the carbon bubble was to address the regulatory challenges.

  2. Sam Greene:

    The Russian government won't mark the 100th anniversary, they are trying to construct a narrative of uninterrupted power and stability. So something like 1917 is an uncomfortable fact that doesn't fit in with that.

  3. Alex Zukin:

    I don't think that narrative will take a long-term hit, you're seeing investors more than willing to give a pass to short-term pockets of weakness around certain businesses.

  4. Kate Starbird:

    What I predict we'll continue to see is consolidation around a couple of narratives that have more staying power that fit into this false meta-narrative of voter fraud that continue and persist, these will persist for years or even decades, unfortunately, because people are very motivated to both participate in them and believe them.

  5. Shelley Pasnik:

    Even though there are no commercials disrupting the narrative, you may not be as alert to the fact that your son or daughter is developing a great affinity for a character, and then it's pretty bonkers when it comes to shopping.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for narrative

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for narrative »


Find a translation for the narrative definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"narrative." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 21 Jul 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/narrative>.

Discuss these narrative definitions with the community:


    Are we missing a good definition for narrative? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Browse Definitions.net


    Are you a words master?

    applied to a fish depicted horizontally
    A lacerate
    B dicotyledonous
    C naiant
    D pecuniary

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for narrative: