• synonyms


[fuh-see-shuh s]
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  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 for facetious

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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 for facetious

amusing, blithe, clever, comic, comical, droll, dry, fanciful, farcical, flip, flippant, frivolous, funny, gay, humorous, indecorous, ironic, irreverent, jesting, jocose

Examples from the Web for facetious

Contemporary Examples of facetious

Historical Examples of facetious

  • 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.


    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


  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 for facetious

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


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