• synonyms


[fas-il or, esp. British, -ahyl]
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  1. moving, acting, working, proceeding, etc., with ease, sometimes with superficiality: facile fingers; a facile mind.
  2. easily done, performed, used, etc.: a facile victory; a facile method.
  3. easy or unconstrained, as manners or persons.
  4. affable, agreeable, or complaisant; easily influenced: a facile temperament; facile people.
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Origin of facile

1475–85; < Latin facilis that can be done, easy, equivalent to fac(ere) to do, make + -ilis -ile
Related formsfac·ile·ly, adverbfac·ile·ness, nouno·ver·fac·ile, adjectiveo·ver·fac·ile·ly, adverbun·fac·ile, adjectiveun·fac·ile·ly, adverb
Can be confusedfacile facilitate facility felicitate


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facile princeps

[fah-ki-le pring-keps; English fas-uh-lee prin-seps]
  1. easily the first or best.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for facile

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • This was his special gift and as usual in such cases he was not a facile writer.

  • I cannot brush aside the problem by a facile reference to reincarnation.

    Mountain Meditations

    L. Lind-af-Hageby

  • Consequently the poisoners of the wells of truth had a facile task.

    England and Germany

    Emile Joseph Dillon

  • A Latin tag came into my head about the facile descent into the abyss.

    The Arrow of Gold

    Joseph Conrad

  • Mrs. Austen, in spite of her facile digestion, gagged at it.

    The Paliser case

    Edgar Saltus

British Dictionary definitions for facile


  1. easy to perform or achieve
  2. working or moving easily or smoothly
  3. without depth; superficiala facile solution
  4. archaic relaxed in manner; easygoing
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Derived Formsfacilely, adverbfacileness, noun

Word Origin

C15: from Latin facilis easy, from facere to do

facile princeps

  1. an obvious leader
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Word Origin

literally: easily first
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 facile


late 15c., from Middle French facile "easy," from Latin facilis "easy to do" and, of persons, "pliant, courteous," from facere "to do" (see factitious).

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facile princeps

Latin, literally "easily first." An acknowledged leader or chief.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper