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[fuh-see-shuh s] /fəˈsi ʃəs/
not meant to be taken seriously or literally:
a facetious remark.
amusing; humorous.
lacking serious intent; concerned with something nonessential, amusing, or frivolous:
a facetious person.
Origin of facetious
1585-95; facete + -ious; see facetiae
Related forms
facetiously, adverb
facetiousness, noun
nonfacetious, adjective
nonfacetiously, adverb
nonfacetiousness, noun
unfacetious, adjective
unfacetiously, adverb
unfacetiousness, noun
Can be confused
2. See humorous1 .
Usage note
A term labeled Facetious in this dictionary is one that is used consciously for humorous or playful effect. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for facetiously
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I asked, facetiously, but I didn't feel in the least humorous.

    Jane Journeys On Ruth Comfort Mitchell
  • "I thought it would come to that," says Mr. Snivel, facetiously.

    An Outcast F. Colburn Adams
  • "To be popular with the people, is truly an honor," interrupts the lady, facetiously.

    An Outcast F. Colburn Adams
  • They would jerk a thumb over a shoulder after him facetiously.


    George Washington Cable
  • "Things like the March Hare, for example," suggested Paul facetiously.

    Paul and the Printing Press Sara Ware Bassett
  • I showed her the nine and facetiously asked her to choose; or should I spread them all at once?

    A Sheaf of Corn Mary E. Mann
  • facetiously spoken to those who quarrel with a patch about you.

    The Proverbs of Scotland Alexander Hislop
  • "Take my yacht and go to England," said Dillingham, facetiously.

    Charles Frohman: Manager and Man

    Isaac Frederick Marcosson and Daniel Frohman
  • "Don't let us disturb you, Captain," said Winter, facetiously.

    The Trembling of a Leaf William Somerset Maugham
British Dictionary definitions for facetiously


characterized by levity of attitude and love of joking: a facetious person
jocular or amusing, esp at inappropriate times: facetious remarks
Derived Forms
facetiously, adverb
facetiousness, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Old French facetieux, from facetie witty saying; see facetiae
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
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Word Origin and History for facetiously



1590s, from French facétieux, from facétie "a joke" (15c.), from Latin facetia "jest, witticism," from facetus "witty, elegant, fine, courteous," of unknown origin, perhaps related to facis "torch."

It implies a desire to be amusing, often intrusive or ill-timed. Related: Facetiously; facetiousness. "Facetiæ in booksellers' catalogues, is, like curious, a euphemism for erotica." [Fowler]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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