or fa·çade

[ fuh-sahd, fa- ]
/ fəˈsɑd, fæ- /
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  1. the front of a building, especially an imposing or decorative one.
  2. any side of a building facing a public way or space and finished accordingly.
a superficial appearance or illusion of something: They managed somehow to maintain a facade of wealth.


How Do You Pronounce Facade?

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Origin of facade

1650–60; <French <Upper Italian faciada,Italian facciata, equivalent to facci(a) face + -ata-ade1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does facade mean?

A facade is the front of a building or a side that faces a public area.

Facade is used literally to describe a decorative, showy, or onrate piece of architecture that frames the front of a building, as in The architect who designed this building used a showy facade on it to help it stand out from nearby buildings.

A facade is also a superficial appearance or an illusion, which can be literal or figurative. If a movie star wears a dark hoodie and sunglasses so they won’t be recognized by the press, they are wearing a literal facade. If that movie star acts completely different from who they actually are or puts on an alternate personality in order to trick or convince people of something, that is a figurative facade.

Example: He continually lied to keep up his facade until the whole thing stumbled out of control.

Where does facade come from?

The first records of the term facade come from the mid-1600s. It ultimately comes from the Italian faccia, meaning “face,” and –ata, an ending that denotes a process or action. The wall of a building is called its face, and in theater, a character or portrayal is often called a face.

Facade can also be spelled façade. That squiggly shape under the c is called a cedilla and is used in French and Portuguese to indicate that the c should be pronounced like an s.

Did you know … ?

What are some other forms related to facade?

What are some synonyms for facade?

What are some words that share a root or word element with facade

What are some words that often get used in discussing facade?

How is facade used in real life?

In casual conversation, facade is often used figuratively to describe something that is fake or an illusion.


Try using facade!

Which of the following is NOT a synonym for facade?

A. exterior
B. interior
C. front
D. veneer

How to use facade in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for facade



/ (fəˈsɑːd, fæ-) /

the face of a building, esp the main front
a front or outer appearance, esp a deceptive one

Word Origin for façade

C17: from French, from Italian facciata, from faccia 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