Definition of factitious
1 : produced by humans rather than by natural forces
2 a : formed by or adapted to an artificial or conventional standard b : produced by special effort : sham <created a factitious demand by spreading rumors of shortage>
Examples of factitious in a sentence
<presumably the statue is of factitious marble, because for that price you're not going to get the real stuff>
<the factitious friendliness shown by the beauty-pageant contestants to one another>
Did You Know?
Like the common words "fact" and "factual," "factitious" ultimately comes from the Latin verb facere, meaning "to do" or "to make." But in current use, "factitious" has little to do with things factual and true - in fact, "factitious" often implies the opposite. The most immediate ancestor of "factitious" is the Latin adjective facticius, meaning "made by art" or "artificial." When English speakers first adopted the word as "factitious" in the 17th century, it meant "produced by human effort or skill" (rather than arising from nature). This meaning gave rise to such meanings as "artificial" and "false" or "feigned."
Origin of factitious
Latin facticius, from factus, past participle of facere to make, do — more at do
First Known Use: 1646
Medical Definition of factitious
: not produced by natural means
Seen and Heard
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