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


clever, humorous, jocular, smart, witty

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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

Facetious Is Chock-Full of Vowels

Facetious—which puzzle fans know is one of the few English words containing the vowels a, e, i, o, u in order—came to English from the Middle French word facetieux, which traces to the Latin word facetia, meaning "jest." Facetia seems to have made only one other lasting contribution to the English language: facetiae, meaning "witty or humorous writings or sayings." Facetiae, which comes from the plural of facetia and is pronounced \fuh-SEE-shee-ee\ or \fuh-SEE-shee-eye\, is a far less common word than facetious, but it does show up occasionally. For example, American essayist Louis Menand used it in his 2002 book American Studies to describe the early days of The New Yorker. "The New Yorker," he wrote, "started as a hectic book of gossip, cartoons, and facetiae."

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

The Werewolf of Washington’ aren’t too scary, and the funny bits tend to come out fitfully facetious. John Kelly, Washington Post, "In 1973, there was a werewolf in the White House — at least in this B movie," 8 Jan. 2018 Diplo then set off a stream of response tweets, rich with memes and facetious apologies. Kat Bein, Billboard, "deadmau5, Laidback Luke & More DJs React to Zedd, Diplo Beef," 12 June 2018 Bauer replied first with a string of chin-scratching emojis, then with a facetious allusion to possible malfeasance. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Astros respond to cryptic, accusatory tweets by Indians' Trevor Bauer," 1 May 2018 But lyrically, Now Only is stranger, sometimes facetious even. Kevin Nguyen, GQ, "You Could Use a Style Upgrade," 11 Apr. 2018 While a team official said last week that Thomas was being facetious, and in fact Sibel did not say that, Thomas clearly was not the same player in terms of speed, quickness and strength in his legs. Joe Vardon, cleveland.com, "Cavaliers, Isaiah Thomas take high road after Cleveland experiment didn't work," 9 Feb. 2018 Jefferson tolerated better than most Adams’s facetious and teasing manner. Gordon S. Wood, WSJ, "The Founding Liberal and the Founding Conservative," 13 Oct. 2017 The questions were facetious, but Burnett didn’t smile. Zach Helfand, latimes.com, "Deontay Burnett can't talk like Keyshawn Johnson, but USC need him to play like that," 29 July 2017 This is being somewhat facetious and begrudgingly disrespectful to the players and coaches in the Padres clubhouse trying to win every day. Kevin Acee, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Padres season just beginning," 25 July 2017

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

The first known use of facetious was in 1594

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on facetious

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for facetious

Spanish Central: Translation of facetious

Nglish: Translation of facetious for Spanish Speakers

Comments on facetious

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a small bunch of flowers

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