• 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

Synonyms for facile

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for facilely

willingly, easily, freely, eagerly, promptly, gladly, immediately, cheerfully, ably, handily, neatly, smoothly, nimbly, skillfully, deftly, expertly, ingeniously, adroitly, aptly, knowingly

Examples from the Web for facilely

Historical Examples of facilely

  • She had been willing to be lightly, facilely happy over it like other people.

    The Judge

    Rebecca West

  • Changeability is attributed to the feminine, but Maya was not able to shift her mood as facilely as her fiance.

    Rebels of the Red Planet

    Charles Louis Fontenay

  • Her father hadn't been the happy, satisfied, facilely successful person he was supposed to be.

  • Milly's indifference argued in her a difference from most women, facilely contented as they usually seemed.

  • And, like all popular ideas, it is unthinkingly accepted and facilely claimed.

British Dictionary definitions for facilely


  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 for facile

C15: from Latin facilis easy, from facere to do
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 facilely



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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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper