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facetious

[fuh-see-shuh s]
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adjective
  1. not meant to be taken seriously or literally: a facetious remark.
  2. amusing; humorous.
  3. lacking serious intent; concerned with something nonessential, amusing, or frivolous: a facetious person.
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Origin of facetious

1585–95; facete + -ious; see facetiae
Related formsfa·ce·tious·ly, adverbfa·ce·tious·ness, nounnon·fa·ce·tious, adjectivenon·fa·ce·tious·ly, adverbnon·fa·ce·tious·ness, nounun·fa·ce·tious, adjectiveun·fa·ce·tious·ly, adverbun·fa·ce·tious·ness, noun
Can be confusedfacetious factious factitious fictional fictitious

Synonyms

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2. See humorous1.

Usage note

A term labeled Facetious in this dictionary is one that is used consciously for humorous or playful effect.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

amusingblitheclevercomiccomicaldrolldryfancifulfarcicalflipflippantfrivolousfunnygayhumorousindecorousironicirreverentjestingjocose

Examples from the Web for facetious

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Only Maulo, the camp jester, hurled a facetious comment at the corpse.

    The Leopard Woman

    Stewart Edward White

  • “You can be facetious, I see,” the latter observed carelessly.

    The Secret Agent

    Joseph Conrad

  • And this remark, intended to be facetious, was after all pretty close to the literal truth.

    Shavings

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • "Then it will pass, of course," rejoined the facetious physician.

  • Indeed, he found Mr. Trenchard a most pleasant and facetious gentleman.

    Mistress Wilding

    Rafael Sabatini


British Dictionary definitions for facetious

facetious

adjective
  1. characterized by levity of attitude and love of jokinga facetious person
  2. jocular or amusing, esp at inappropriate timesfacetious remarks
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Derived Formsfacetiously, adverbfacetiousness, noun

Word Origin

C16: from Old French facetieux, from facetie witty saying; see facetiae
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 facetious

adj.

1590s, from French facétieux, from facétie "a joke" (15c.), from Latin facetia "jest, witticism," from facetus "witty, elegant, fine, courteous," of unknown origin, perhaps related to facis "torch."

It implies a desire to be amusing, often intrusive or ill-timed. Related: Facetiously; facetiousness. "Facetiæ in booksellers' catalogues, is, like curious, a euphemism for erotica." [Fowler]

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper