Definition of facile
1a (1) : easily accomplished or attained a facile victory (2) : shallow, simplistic I am not concerned … with offering any facile solution for so complex a problem — T. S. Eliotb : used or comprehended with easec : readily manifested and often lacking sincerity or depth facile tears
2 archaic : mild or pleasing in manner or disposition
facilelyplay \ˈfa-sə(l)-lē\ adverb
facilenessplay \ˈfa-səl-nəs\ noun
facile was our Word of the Day on 01/03/2008. Hear the podcast!
Examples of facile in a Sentence
But in the less palmy days of their marriage and the final years of his life, Lennon produced (with Yoko's help) shallow, facile recordings that cannibalized his early work. —Francine Prose, The Lives of the Muses, 2002
Melville shrank from atheism, and from all facile theisms. —John Updike, Hugging the Shore, (1983) 1984
… I saw that my old enemy was dead, Amy [Lowell], noble Amy. How I despised myself then for my facile self-pity and for my failure to die—how she seemed to have worsted me once again. —Conrad Aiken, 14 May 1925, in Selected Letters of Conrad Aiken, 1978
This problem needs more than just a facile solution.
He is a wonderfully facile writer.
Recent Examples of facile from the Web
Although Hitchcock dwells rather long and lovingly on some portions of the material, his facile directorial paint-brush, plus the intriguing backgrounds and interesting characters, combine to hold audience interest keyed up at all times.
Still, if Mr. Martin’s take on grief is facile, the movie overall is a pleasant trip, and Dean’s doodles — by Mr. Martin himself —
Like snow leopards, Notekillers achieves this on a full-on, nonstop level without succumbing to noise or facile negativity — and may have even invented the concept, or at least a healthy chunk of it.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'facile'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
Would you have guessed that "facile" and "difficult" are related? They are! "Facile" comes to us through Middle French, from the Latin word facilis, meaning "easy, and ultimately from facere, meaning "to make or do." "Difficult" traces to "facilis" as well, but its history also involves the negative prefix dis-, meaning "not." "Facile" can mean "easy" or "easily done," as befits its Latin roots, but it now often adds the connotation of undue haste or shallowness, as in "facile answers to complex questions."
Origin and Etymology of facile
Middle French, from Latin facilis, from facere to do — more at do
First Known Use: 15th century
Synonym Discussion of facile
FACILE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of facile for English Language Learners
: too simple : not showing enough thought or effort
: done or achieved in a way that is too easy
: working, moving, or performing well and very easily
Seen and Heard
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