View synonyms for facetious


[ fuh-see-shuhs ]


  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.


/ fəˈsiːʃəs /


  1. characterized by levity of attitude and love of joking

    a facetious person

  2. jocular or amusing, esp at inappropriate times

    facetious remarks

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Usage Note

A term labeled Facetious in this dictionary is one that is used consciously for humorous or playful effect.

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Derived Forms

  • faˈcetiousness, noun
  • faˈcetiously, adverb

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Other Words From

  • fa·cetious·ly adverb
  • fa·cetious·ness noun
  • nonfa·cetious adjective
  • nonfa·cetious·ly adverb
  • nonfa·cetious·ness noun
  • unfa·cetious adjective
  • unfa·cetious·ly adverb
  • unfa·cetious·ness noun

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Word History and Origins

Origin of facetious1

First recorded in 1585–95; from Middle French facecieux, facetieux, from facetie “a jest,” from Latin facētia “a jest, witticism” ( facetiae ) + -ious

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Word History and Origins

Origin of facetious1

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

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Compare Meanings

How does facetious compare to similar and commonly confused words? Explore the most common comparisons:

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Synonym Study

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Example Sentences

In 2006, a Fermilab newsletter even recounted an only somewhat facetious report of a “coordinated attack” on the facility by a family of raccoons.

Even seemingly facetious Laundrie “stans” acknowledge this grim reality.

I was full of fentanyl—an opioid stronger than heroin—which seemed to embolden my facetious nature.

For example, Preston likes to avoid sounding angry because she has found a friendly—even facetious—tone can defuse tense situations.

This is not by any means a facetious question: Do you think alcohol should also be made illegal?

In recent weeks, McHale has used The Soup to promote Community—with facetious knowingness, of course.

At the club, they were far too facetious; even Randulf rallied him in a disagreeable manner.

The late Bishop used to make a rather facetious remark about this tomb.

You leave me to starve, for all you care; and you grow mighty facetious because I earn my bread.

One facetious sportsman had once made a rule of setting the senior day-room chimney on fire every term.

The manager was facetious—said he was "too thin for the theatre."


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More About Facetious

What does facetious mean?

Facetious is most commonly used to describe comments that are intentionally unserious, especially in a way that’s meant to be humorous and perhaps a bit inappropriate or provocative.

It can also be used to describe someone making such comments. For example, a person might excuse their own joking comment by saying “I’m just being facetious.”

The term is somewhat similar to sarcastic, but not all facetious comments are sarcastic, and not all sarcastic comments are intended to be facetious.

Example: Instead of sitting there and making facetious comments, why don’t you try making an actual suggestion?

Where does facetious come from?

The first records of facetious come from the late 1500s. It comes from the Old French facetieux, from facétie, meaning “witty saying.” It ultimately comes from the Latin word facētus, meaning “clever” or “witty.” (This is also the basis of the word facete, an obsolete synonym of facetious, as well as the word facetiae, which refers to amusing or witty remarks or writings.)

When a word is labeled facetious in the dictionary, it means it’s used intentionally for humorous or playful effect. The same thing goes for real life: facetious comments are not meant to be taken seriously. They’re often playful or intended to be a bit irreverent. If a person is being facetious, they’re intentionally being unserious, typically for a humorous effect, or perhaps to tease someone.

Facetious is often used as a near-synonym of sarcastic, in the sense that someone who’s being facetious should not be taken literally or seriously. Sometimes, though, when facetious comments aren’t recognized as jokes, they can put off or offend people. When this happens, the person who made the comments might apologize by saying, “Sorry, I was just being facetious.” Translation: “Don’t take what I said seriously.”

Fun fact: the adverb facetiously is one of the few words in the English language that has all of the vowels in alphabetical order.

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What are some other forms related to facetious?

  • facetiousness (noun)
  • facetiously (adverb)

What are some synonyms for facetious?

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



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

How is facetious used in real life?

Facetious is sometimes used in a negative way to criticize someone’s lack of seriousness or irreverent humor.



Try using facetious!

Which of the following words is LEAST likely to describe a comment considered facetious?

A. sincere
B. sardonic
C. ironic
D. sarcastic




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