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[fey-shee-eez, -sheez] /ˈfeɪ ʃiˌiz, -ʃiz/
noun, plural facies.
general appearance, as of an animal or vegetable group.
Geology. the appearance and characteristics of a sedimentary deposit, especially as they reflect the conditions and environment of deposition and serve to distinguish the deposit from contiguous deposits.
Medicine/Medical. a facial expression characteristic of a disease or pathological condition.
Archaeology. a distinctive phase of a prehistoric cultural tradition.
Origin of facies
1350-1400, for an earlier sense; Middle English < Latin: form, figure, appearance, face, akin to facere to make
Related forms
subfacies, noun, plural subfacies. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for facies


noun (pl) -cies
the general form and appearance of an individual or a group of plants or animals
the characteristics of a rock or series of rocks reflecting their appearance, composition, and conditions of formation
(med) the general facial expression of a patient, esp when typical of a specific disease or disorder See Hippocratic facies
Word Origin
C17: from Latin: appearance, face
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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facies in Medicine

facies fa·ci·es (fā'shē-ēz', -shēz)
n. pl. facies

  1. Face.

  2. The appearance or expression of the face, especially when typical of a certain disorder or disease.

  3. The general aspect or outward appearance, as of a given growth of flora.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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facies in Science
  (fā'shē-ēz', -shēz)   
Plural facies
    1. A body of sedimentary rock distinguished from others by its lithology, geometry, sedimentary structures, proximity to other types of sedimentary rock, and fossil content, and recognized as characteristic of a particular depositional environment.

    2. For a metamorphic rock, the particular combination of pressure and temperature under which metamorphism occurred.

  1. The general aspect or makeup of an ecological community, especially a local modification of a community characterized by a conspicuous or abundant species that is absent or less concentrated in other locations.

  2. The appearance or expression of the face, especially when typical of a certain disorder or disease.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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