See more synonyms for facet on Thesaurus.com
  1. one of the small, polished plane surfaces of a cut gem.
  2. a similar surface cut on a fragment of rock by the action of water, windblown sand, etc.
  3. aspect; phase: They carefully examined every facet of the argument.
  4. Architecture. any of the faces of a column cut in a polygonal form.
  5. Zoology. one of the corneal lenses of a compound arthropod eye.
  6. Anatomy. a small, smooth, flat area on a hard surface, especially on a bone.
  7. Dentistry. a small, highly burnished area, usually on the enamel surface of a tooth, produced by abrasion between opposing teeth in chewing.
verb (used with object), fac·et·ed, fac·et·ing or (especially British) fac·et·ted, fac·et·ting.
  1. to cut facets on.

Origin of facet

First recorded in 1615–25, facet is from the French word facette little face. See face, -et
Related formsun·fac·et·ed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for facet

Contemporary Examples of facet

Historical Examples of facet

  • They were on a facet of the hill not quite so advantageous as others.

    The Long Roll

    Mary Johnston

  • The opercular has a facet for articulation with the hyomandibular.

    The Vertebrate Skeleton

    Sidney H. Reynolds

  • In the larger and older jewels every facet may stand for a bloody deed.

  • Every facet of the sprawling IC operation was being checked.


    Jesse Franklin Bone

  • Besides, this was a facet of Budapest life he had yet to investigate.

    Frigid Fracas

    Dallas McCord Reynolds

British Dictionary definitions for facet


  1. any of the surfaces of a cut gemstone
  2. an aspect or phase, as of a subject or personality
  3. architect the raised surface between the flutes of a column
  4. any of the lenses that make up the compound eye of an insect or other arthropod
  5. anatomy any small smooth area on a hard surface, as on a bone
verb -ets, -eting, -eted, -ets, -etting or -etted
  1. (tr) to cut facets in (a gemstone)

Word Origin for facet

C17: from French facette a little 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

Word Origin and History for facet

1620s, from French facette (12c., Old French facete), diminutive of face (see face (n.)). The diamond-cutting sense is the original one. Related: Faceted; facets.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

facet in Medicine


  1. A small smooth area on a bone or other firm structure.
  2. A worn spot on a tooth, produced by chewing or grinding.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.