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

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
Recent Examples on the Web One day, Randal is goading Elias into a facetious debate pitting Jesus against Randal’s savior of choice (that would be Conan’s deity, Crom). John Defore, The Hollywood Reporter, 8 Sep. 2022 Pitt: somehow facetious and wise at the same time, relishing the noise, as if daring curious onlookers to figure out the answer themselves. Shirley Li, The Atlantic, 11 Aug. 2022 But the technological command and the cleverness on display in the colossal fight scenes also undercut their dramatic significance, as do the over-the-top theatrics that tip into the facetious. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 24 Dec. 2021 Now, Courtney, this is a way of asking the question in a facetious manner, but there is a kernel here. Laura Johnston, cleveland, 27 May 2022 Extending their doofus-and-diva act to the classrooms, corridors, and teachers’ lounge transfers their personal careerism into a facetious representation of a major social institution. Armond White, National Review, 13 Apr. 2022 Check out Warrick’s facetious reaction to her aunt’s meet-up with Rihanna below. Glenn Rowley, Billboard, 2 Feb. 2022 But Sorkin ignores that inconvenient truth by giving this dramatic biopic a facetious documentary structure. Armond White, National Review, 18 Feb. 2022 An index should be objective, but some indexers can’t resist expressing subjective judgments, or even mocking a book’s contents with facetious or insulting entries. Washington Post, 18 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

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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The first known use of facetious was in 1594

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Last Updated

20 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Facetious.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/facetious. Accessed 6 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for facetious


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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