[ 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.

  1. Medicine/Medical. a facial expression characteristic of a disease or pathological condition.

  2. 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

Other words from facies

  • sub·fa·ci·es, noun, plural sub·fa·ci·es.

Words Nearby facies

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use facies in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for facies


/ (ˈfeɪʃɪˌiːz) /

nounplural -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

  1. med the general facial expression of a patient, esp when typical of a specific disease or disorder: See Hippocratic facies

Origin of 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

Scientific definitions for facies


[ shē-ēz′, -shēz ]

Plural facies
    • 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.

    • 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.

  1. 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.