Fictionary, also known as the Dictionary Game or simply Dictionary, is a word game in which players guess the definition of an obscure word.
A turn consists of one player picking a word from the dictionary and each other player composing a fake definition. A round is completed when each player has selected a word to be guessed.
Players earn points (1) by guessing the correct definition of a word, (2) by composing a fake definition that other players guess is the correct one, and (3) as Picker, selecting a genuine definition that no players vote for.
The winner is the player who has earned the most points after a pre-determined number of rounds.
- A large, preferably unabridged dictionary
- A pencil, pen or other writing implement for each player
- Notecards or identical pieces of paper for each player
Order of play
Individual house rules may vary when playing Fictionary, but play usually proceeds like this:
One player, the Picker for the turn, chooses an obscure word from the dictionary and announces and spells it to the other players. The chosen word should be one that no other player knows. If a player is familiar with the chosen word, he or she should say so and the picker should choose a different word. (Cheating only gains one point for the cheater anyway.)
If a word has more than one definition listed, the Picker privately chooses which one to use, but in such a case must specify, "X, when it does not mean so-and-so." Generally, the Picker can edit the dictionary definition as s/he thinks is most strategic.
Each player writes a crafty and credible definition of the word, initials it, and submits it to the word picker. The Picker shuffles the definitions, including their own, which is the correct one. As definitions are handed to him, the picker should check them over to ensure that they can read the handwriting and to clarify any questions. (Stumbling over or misreading a definition is usually a sign that it's not the correct one—unless the picker is trying to bluff.)
Once all definitions have been handed in, the picker reads the list aloud, once. The Picker may read the definitions in any order. On a second reading, each other player in turn then votes for the definition he or she believes is correct. Because the picker selected the word and knows the definition, the picker does not vote.
One variation allows a player to vote for the definition he submitted, although he doesn't get points for doing so. (This can encourage other people to vote for that definition as well, and the player would get those points.) Another variation does not allow a player to vote for his own definition.
Players earn one point for voting for the correct definition, and one point for each vote cast for the definition they wrote. (Other traditions for scoring award more points for guessing the correct definition than you get for picking your own.)
The Picker earns three points if no one selects the correct definition. There are variations where the picker earns no points during their round as picker, fairness being achieved by ensuring that all players take equal numbers of turns as picker.
Play then proceeds with the dictionary going to another player, which starts a new turn. A full circuit of the dictionary constitutes a round.
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