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[fahrs] /fɑrs/
a light, humorous play in which the plot depends upon a skillfully exploited situation rather than upon the development of character.
humor of the type displayed in such works.
foolish show; mockery; a ridiculous sham.
Cookery. forcemeat.
verb (used with object), farced, farcing.
to season (a speech or composition), especially with witty material.
Obsolete. to stuff; cram.
Origin of farce
1300-50; (noun) Middle English fars stuffing < Middle French farce < Vulgar Latin *farsa, noun use of feminine of Latin farsus, earlier fartus stuffed, past participle of farcīre to stuff; (v.) Middle English farsen < Old French farcir < Latin farcīre
Related forms
unfarced, adjective
3. burlesque, travesty. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for farce
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • What a farce it was to talk to her about helping those poor fellows!

    Ester Ried Yet Speaking Isabella Alden
  • Burlesque, farce and extravagance of situation and dialogue.

    The Dramatic Values in Plautus Wilton Wallace Blancke
  • His lower orders are all food for comedy or farce: he will not treat them seriously.

    The Man Shakespeare Frank Harris
  • We did not want the farce, that night, even as our rightful due.

    Meadow Grass Alice Brown
  • The world is a stage, and life is a farce, and he that laughs most has most profit of the performance.

    Maid Marian Thomas Love Peacock
British Dictionary definitions for farce


a broadly humorous play based on the exploitation of improbable situations
the genre of comedy represented by works of this kind
a ludicrous situation or action
Also farcemeat another name for forcemeat
verb (transitive) (obsolete)
to enliven (a speech, etc) with jokes
to stuff (meat, fowl, etc) with forcemeat
Word Origin
C14 (in the sense: stuffing): from Old French, from Latin farcīre to stuff, interpolate passages (in the mass, in religious plays, etc)
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 farce

late 14c., "force-meat, stuffing;" 1520s, as a type of dramatic work, from Middle French farce "comic interlude in a mystery play" (16c.), literally "stuffing," from Old French farcir "to stuff," (13c.), from Latin farcire "to stuff, cram," of unknown origin, perhaps related to frequens "crowded."

The pseudo-Latin farsia was applied 13c. in France and England to praise phrases inserted into liturgical formulae (e.g. between kyrie and eleison), then in Old French farce was extended to the impromptu buffoonery among actors that was a feature of religious stage plays.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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