[fak-tish-uh s]


not spontaneous or natural; artificial; contrived: factitious laughter; factitious enthusiasm.
made; manufactured: a decoration of factitious flowers and leaves.

Origin of factitious

First recorded in 1640–50, factitious is from the Latin word factīcius made by art, artificial. See fact, -itious
Related formsfac·ti·tious·ly, adverbfac·ti·tious·ness, nounnon·fac·ti·tious, adjectivenon·fac·ti·tious·ly, adverbnon·fac·ti·tious·ness, nouno·ver·fac·ti·tious, adjective
Can be confusedfacetious factious factitious fictional fictitiousfactitious fictional fictitious fictive
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for factitious

artificial, sham, false

Examples from the Web for factitious

Historical Examples of factitious

  • What is this farcical, factitious glamour that will not bear the light of day?

  • It was a factitious strength, the restlessness of incipient insanity.


    Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer

  • He was in that state of factitious discontent which belongs to us amiable English.

  • In these cases, it is not merely that everything is exaggerated, but everything is factitious.


    Benjamin Disraeli

  • Indeed it has created a factitious interest in da Vinci's masterwork.

    The Merry-Go-Round

    Carl Van Vechten

British Dictionary definitions for factitious



artificial rather than naturalfactitious demands created by the mass media
not genuine; shamfactitious enthusiasm
Derived Formsfactitiously, adverbfactitiousness, noun

Word Origin for factitious

C17: from Latin factīcius, from facere to make, 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 factitious

1640s, from Latin factitius "artificial," from factus, past participle of facere "do" (source of French faire, Spanish hacer), from PIE root *dhe- "to put, to do" (cf. Sanskrit dadhati "puts, places;" Avestan dadaiti "he puts;" Old Persian ada "he made;" Hittite dai- "to place;" Greek tithenai "to put, set, place;" Lithuanian deti "to put;" Polish dziać się "to be happening;" Russian delat' "to do;" Old High German tuon, German tun, Old Saxon, Old English don "to do;" Old Frisian dua, Old Swedish duon, Gothic gadeths "a doing;" Old Norse dalidun "they did").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

factitious in Medicine




Produced artificially rather than by a natural process.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.