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. 2018

Examples from the Web for facets

Contemporary Examples of facets

Historical Examples of facets

  • Ideally, education addresses all the facets of the human being.

  • She held it raised so for a moment, watching the play of light from the facets.

    Flamsted quarries

    Mary E. Waller

  • He moved the finger so that the light flashed from the facets of the stone.

    In Pawn

    Ellis Parker Butler

  • There was a lake on the facets of whose ripples the sunlight danced.

  • Template or TimpletOne of the four facets that surround a cut gem.

    Time Telling through the Ages

    Harry Chase Brearley

British Dictionary definitions for facets


  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 facets



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

facets 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.