noun fa·cade \fə-ˈsäd\
variants: or less commonly


Definition of facade

  1. 1 :  the front of a building; also :  any face of a building given special architectural treatment a museum's east facade

  2. 2 :  a false, superficial, or artificial appearance or effect tried to preserve the facade of a happy marriage

Examples of facade in a sentence

  1. “I mean, don't you find yourself being extra careful about what you say and how you say it? As if you have to be this phony, put on a facade, because you don't want to give them the wrong impression?” —Terry McMillan, Waiting to Exhale, 1992

  2. When I watched him in motion picture roles after the war, I knew there was something of honest substance behind that acting façade. —Andrew A. Rooney, And More by Andy Rooney, (1979) 1982

  3. … but his magic power of concentration was gone. All the façades he built up between himself and his desperate love never entirely hid it. —May Sarton, Shadow of a Man, 1950

  4. the facade of the bank

  5. the windowless façade of the skyscraper

  6. They were trying to preserve the facade of a happy marriage.

  7. I could sense the hostility lurking behind her polite facade.

Recent Examples of facade from the web

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A Brief History of facade

Facade is thought to have come to English from the Vulgar Latin facia, meaning “face.” Along the way it passed through both Italian, as faccia, and French, as _façade. The earliest meaning of the word in English was in reference to the front portion of a building, it’s “face,” so to speak (and face itself is sometimes used to describe this part of a structure as well). Somewhere along the way _ facade_ took on a figurative sense, referring to a way of behaving or appearing that gives other people a false idea of your true feelings or situation. This is similar the figurative use of veneer, which originally had the simple meaning of a thin layer of wood that was used to cover something, and now may also refer to a sort of deceptive behavior that masks one’s actual feelings (as in, “he had a thin veneer of politeness”).

Illustration of facade

Origin and Etymology of facade

French façade, from Italian facciata, from faccia face, from Vulgar Latin *facia

First Known Use: circa 1681

Other Architecture Terms

FACADE Defined for English Language Learners


noun fa·cade \fə-ˈsäd\

Definition of facade for English Language Learners

  • : the front of a building

  • : a way of behaving or appearing that gives other people a false idea of your true feelings or situation

FACADE Defined for Kids


noun fa·cade \fə-ˈsäd\

Definition of facade for Students

  1. :  the face or front of a building

Seen and Heard

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to cast off or become cast off

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