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adjective fa·ce·tious \fə-ˈsē-shəs\

Simple Definition of facetious

  • —used to describe speech that is meant to be funny but that is usually regarded as annoying, silly, or not proper

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of facetious

  1. 1 :  joking or jesting often inappropriately :  waggish <just being facetious>

  2. 2 :  meant to be humorous or funny :  not serious <a facetious remark>

facetiously adverb
facetiousness noun

Examples of facetious in a sentence

  1. Nor was Liebling seriously asserting that his facetious bit of investigation into Tin Pan Alley history constituted a refutation of Sartre's philosophy. —Raymond Sokolov, Wayward Reporter, 1980

  2. … old ladies shrivelling to nothing in a forest of flowers and giant facetious get-well cards … —John Updike, Trust Me, 1962

  3. The portrait is good, the prose embroidered here with the facetious parlance—is that the word?—of clubs. —V. S. Pritchett, “Club and Country,” 1949, in A Man of Letters, 1985

  4. <the essay is a facetious commentary on the absurdity of war as a solution for international disputes>

  5. <a facetious and tasteless remark about people in famine-stricken countries being spared the problem of overeating>

Did You Know?

Facetious came to English from the Middle French word facetieux, which traces to the Latin word facetia, meaning "jest." "Facetia" seems to have made only one other lasting contribution to the English language: facetiae, meaning "witty or humorous writings or sayings." "Facetiae," which comes from the plural of "facetia" and is pronounced fuh-SEE-shee-ee or fuh-SEE-shee-eye, is a far less common word than "facetious," but it does show up occasionally. For example, in a letter to the editor published in the Seattle Times, August 26, 1995, a reader used the following words to describe a column written by the humorist Dave Barry: "Hey, it's a HUMOR column, based entirely upon facetiae."

Origin of facetious

Middle French facetieux, from facetie jest, from Latin facetia

First Known Use: 1599

Synonym Discussion of facetious

witty, humorous, facetious, jocular, jocose mean provoking or intended to provoke laughter. witty suggests cleverness and quickness of mind <a witty remark>. humorous applies broadly to anything that evokes usually genial laughter and may contrast with witty in suggesting whimsicality or eccentricity <humorous anecdotes>. facetious stresses a desire to produce laughter and may be derogatory in implying dubious or ill-timed attempts at wit or humor <facetious comments>. jocular implies a usually habitual fondness for jesting and joking <a jocular fellow>. jocose is somewhat less derogatory than facetious in suggesting habitual waggishness or playfulness <jocose proposals>.

FACETIOUS Defined for Kids


adjective fa·ce·tious \fə-ˈsē-shəs\

Definition of facetious for Students

  1. :  intended or trying to be funny <a facetious remark>

facetiously adverb

Headscratcher for facetious

Facetious is one of the few words in English that contain all the vowels (not including “y”) in alphabetical order.

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up facetious? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to manage or play awkwardly

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