facade

noun fa·cade \ fə-ˈsäd \
variants: or less commonly façade
Updated on: 23 May 2018

Definition of facade

1 : the front of a building; also : any face of a building given special architectural treatment
  • a museum's east facade
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 McMillanWaiting to Exhale1992
  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. RooneyAnd 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 SartonShadow of a Man1950
  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

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'facade.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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

illustration of facade

Origin and Etymology of facade

borrowed from French, going back to Middle French fassade, borrowed from Italian facciata, from faccia "face" (going back to Vulgar Latin *facia) + -ata -ade — more at 1face

facade Synonyms

Synonyms

face, forepart, front;

Antonyms

back, rear, rearward, reverse;

Near Antonyms

innards, inside, interior;

Related Words

outside, skin, surface, veneer;

Other Architecture Terms


FACADE Defined for English Language Learners

facade

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

facade

noun fa·cade \ fə-ˈsäd \

Definition of facade for Students

: the face or front of a building


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