any device for controlling the flow of liquid from a pipe or the like by opening or closing an orifice; tap; cock.

Origin of faucet

1350–1400; Middle English < Middle French fausset peg for a vent, perhaps equivalent to fauss(er) to force in, damage, warp, literally, to falsify (< Late Latin falsāre; see false) + -et -et

Regional variation note

Spigot is a common variant for faucet and is widely used in the Midland U.S. Elsewhere, faucet is more commonly used, especially in the Northern U.S.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for faucet

nozzle, valve, spout, tap, hydrant, stopcock, bibb, bibcock

Examples from the Web for faucet

Contemporary Examples of faucet

Historical Examples of faucet

  • The drip-drip of water from the faucet sounded loud in the quiet.


    Emile Zola

  • She watched with interest the water run steaming from the faucet.

    Mary Rose of Mifflin

    Frances R. Sterrett

  • The rhythmic dripping of a faucet is audible through the flat.

  • There was but one faucet at the Farm, and that was in the kitchen, by the sink.

    The Heart of Arethusa

    Francis Barton Fox

  • She went to the sink and, turning the faucet, saw a splendid flow of water.

British Dictionary definitions for faucet



a tap fitted to a barrel
US and Canadian a valve by which a fluid flow from a pipe can be controlled by opening and closing an orificeAlso called (in Britain and certain other countries): tap

Word Origin for faucet

C14: from Old French fausset, from Provençal falset, from falsar to bore
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 faucet

c.1400, from Old French fausset (14c.) "breach, spigot, stopper, peg (of a barrel)," of unknown origin; perhaps diminutive of Latin faux, fauces "upper part of the throat, pharynx, gullet." Barnhart and others suggest the Old French word is from fausser "to damage, break into," from Late Latin falsare (see false).

Spigot and faucet was the name of an old type of tap for a barrel or cask, consisting of a hollow, tapering tube, which was driven at the narrow end into a barrel, and a screw into the tube which regulated the flow of the liquid. Properly, it seems, the spigot was the tube, the faucet the screw, but the senses have merged or reversed over time. Faucet is now the common word in American English for the whole apparatus.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper