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factoid

[fak-toid]
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noun
  1. an insignificant or trivial fact.
  2. something fictitious or unsubstantiated that is presented as fact, devised especially to gain publicity and accepted because of constant repetition.

Origin of factoid

First recorded in 1973; fact + -oid
Related formsfac·toi·dal, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for factoid

factoid

noun
  1. a piece of unreliable information believed to be true because of the way it is presented or repeated in print

Word Origin

C20 (coined by Norman Mailer): from fact + -oid
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

Word Origin and History for factoid

n.

1973, from fact + -oid, first explained, if not coined, by Norman Mailer.

Factoids ... that is, facts which have no existence before appearing in a magazine or newspaper, creations which are not so much lies as a product to manipulate emotion in the Silent Majority. [Mailer, "Marilyn," 1973]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper