[fey-shee-eez, -sheez]
noun, plural fa·ci·es.
  1. general appearance, as of an animal or vegetable group.
  2. Geology. the appearance and characteristics of a sedimentary deposit, especially as they reflect the conditions and environment of deposition and serve to distinguish the deposit from contiguous deposits.Compare metamorphic facies.
  3. Medicine/Medical. a facial expression characteristic of a disease or pathological condition.
  4. Archaeology. a distinctive phase of a prehistoric cultural tradition.

Origin of facies

1350–1400, for an earlier sense; Middle English < Latin: form, figure, appearance, face, akin to facere to make
Related formssub·fa·ci·es, noun, plural sub·fa·ci·es.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Historical Examples of facies

British Dictionary definitions for facies


noun plural -cies
  1. the general form and appearance of an individual or a group of plants or animals
  2. the characteristics of a rock or series of rocks reflecting their appearance, composition, and conditions of formation
  3. med the general facial expression of a patient, esp when typical of a specific disease or disorderSee Hippocratic facies

Word Origin for facies

C17: from Latin: appearance, 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

facies in Medicine


[fāshē-ēz′, -shēz]
n. pl. facies
  1. Face.
  2. The appearance or expression of the face, especially when typical of a certain disorder or disease.
  3. The general aspect or outward appearance, as of a given growth of flora.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

facies in Science


[fāshē-ēz′, -shēz]
Plural facies
    1. A body of sedimentary rock distinguished from others by its lithology, geometry, sedimentary structures, proximity to other types of sedimentary rock, and fossil content, and recognized as characteristic of a particular depositional environment.
    2. For a metamorphic rock, the particular combination of pressure and temperature under which metamorphism occurred.
  1. The general aspect or makeup of an ecological community, especially a local modification of a community characterized by a conspicuous or abundant species that is absent or less concentrated in other locations.
  2. The appearance or expression of the face, especially when typical of a certain disorder or disease.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.