fa·​ce·​tious | \ fə-ˈsē-shəs How to pronounce facetious (audio) \

Definition of facetious

1 : joking or jesting often inappropriately : waggish just being facetious
2 : meant to be humorous or funny : not serious a facetious remark

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Other Words from facetious

facetiously adverb
facetiousness noun

Synonyms for facetious


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Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Frequently Asked Questions About facetious

Is facetious insulting?

It is not inherently insulting to say that someone is being facetious (although it may imply dubious or ill-timed attempts at wit or humor). The word comes from the Latin facetia, meaning "jest."

What is the difference between facetious and sarcastic?

Facetious may be defined as "joking or jesting often inappropriately" or "not serious." Sarcastic, on the other hand, while still concerned with humor, tends to imply a more caustic or biting quality that is often intended to cause pain.

Is facetious the same as facetiousness?

Facetious is an adjective ("not serious," "waggish"), while facetiousness is a noun ("the state or quality of being facetious"). The adverb form is facetiously.

Examples of facetious in a Sentence

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 Letters1985 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 … old ladies shrivelling to nothing in a forest of flowers and giant facetious get-well cards … — John Updike, Trust Me, 1962 the essay is a facetious commentary on the absurdity of war as a solution for international disputes a facetious and tasteless remark about people in famine-stricken countries being spared the problem of overeating
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Recent Examples on the Web Hancock’s contingency plan to add cattle was facetious. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, 10 May 2021 In other instances, the report says that police may have over-reacted to facetious social media posts. Ashley Remkus | Aremkus@al.com, al, 28 Apr. 2021 Merholz was being facetious, of course, not seeking a ticket of admission into the Oxford English Dictionary. Ralph Keyes, Time, 1 Apr. 2021 Livelier and even more facetious than Baker’s feature-length films, this short celebrates the COVID social transformation that’s made America entirely marginal. Armond White, National Review, 10 Mar. 2021 Congress was disputing the results of the Electoral College certification for the third time in 120 years; facetious speeches in favor of nebulous theories of voter fraud were halted, the session adjourned, and senators donned gas masks. Talia Lavin, The New Republic, 6 Jan. 2021 An official familiar with the Portland operation said the email was facetious in intent and maintained that there was no difference between the legal authorities governing the Fly Team and those that applied to local agents. Mattathias Schwartz, The New York Review of Books, 8 Oct. 2020 In an unusual moment of advocacy for the ever-facetious series, Trump reminded viewers to vote this fall. James Hibberd, EW.com, 1 Oct. 2020 That’s not meant to be facetious: She’s No. 5 on the American Film Institute’s list of the 100 biggest villains of all time (after Hannibal Lecter, Norman Bates, Darth Vader, and the Wicked Witch of the West). Angela Watercutter, Wired, 18 Sep. 2020

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

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First Known Use of facetious

1594, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for facetious

borrowed from Middle French facetieux, facecieux, from facetie "joke, jesting remark" (borrowed from Latin facētia, facētiae "cleverness, wit," in plural sense, "amusing things, jests") + -eux (going back to Latin -ōsus -ous) — more at facetiae

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Time Traveler for facetious

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The first known use of facetious was in 1594

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Cite this Entry

“Facetious.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/facetious. Accessed 24 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for facetious



English Language Learners Definition of facetious

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


fa·​ce·​tious | \ fə-ˈsē-shəs How to pronounce facetious (audio) \

Kids Definition of facetious

: intended or trying to be funny a facetious remark

Other Words from facetious

facetiously adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on facetious

Nglish: Translation of facetious for Spanish Speakers


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