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[fak-tish-uh s] /fækˈtɪʃ əs/
not spontaneous or natural; artificial; contrived:
factitious laughter; factitious enthusiasm.
made; manufactured:
a decoration of factitious flowers and leaves.
Origin of factitious
First recorded in 1640-50, factitious is from the Latin word factīcius made by art, artificial. See fact, -itious
Related forms
factitiously, adverb
factitiousness, noun
nonfactitious, adjective
nonfactitiously, adverb
nonfactitiousness, noun
overfactitious, adjective
Can be confused Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for factitious
Historical Examples
  • What is this farcical, factitious glamour that will not bear the light of day?

  • It was a factitious strength, the restlessness of incipient insanity.

    Romance Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer
  • He was in that state of factitious discontent which belongs to us amiable English.

  • In these cases, it is not merely that everything is exaggerated, but everything is factitious.

    Tancred Benjamin Disraeli
  • Indeed it has created a factitious interest in da Vinci's masterwork.

    The Merry-Go-Round Carl Van Vechten
  • At the next he thought with factitious solemnity: 'Yes, my boy!

    Five Tales John Galsworthy
  • This appears to me an insoluble question, and probably, even, a factitious one.

    The Mind and the Brain

    Alfred Binet
  • The end is not violent or factitious, it is necessary and inevitable.

  • The officers of the society were to be known only by factitious (sic) names.

  • factitious cinnabar, Red sulphide of mercury, Red sulphuret of mercury.

British Dictionary definitions for factitious


artificial rather than natural: factitious demands created by the mass media
not genuine; sham: factitious enthusiasm
Derived Forms
factitiously, adverb
factitiousness, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Latin factīcius, from facere to make, do
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 factitious

1640s, from Latin factitius "artificial," from factus, past participle of facere "do" (source of French faire, Spanish hacer), from PIE root *dhe- "to put, to do" (cf. Sanskrit dadhati "puts, places;" Avestan dadaiti "he puts;" Old Persian ada "he made;" Hittite dai- "to place;" Greek tithenai "to put, set, place;" Lithuanian deti "to put;" Polish dziać się "to be happening;" Russian delat' "to do;" Old High German tuon, German tun, Old Saxon, Old English don "to do;" Old Frisian dua, Old Swedish duon, Gothic gadeths "a doing;" Old Norse dalidun "they did").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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factitious in Medicine

factitious fac·ti·tious (fāk-tĭsh'əs)
Produced artificially rather than by a natural process.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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